Using AI for Instant, Free Transcription: How is the Quality & Accuracy?


Using AI for Instant, Free Transcription: How is the Quality & Accuracy?
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

2/21/2019

Most businesses record videos of various segments of their operations for future use. This can be for historical records or for easier distribution. Here are some examples:

  • An organization records video of its annual general meeting for future reference
  • Churches record their Sunday sermons on DVDs
  • Students record lectures for later study
  • Small businesses may record product walk-throughs for customers

In nearly all industries, videos are integral in various aspects of operations.

Transcribing Videos to Texts Using AI

Sometimes, it may be necessary to transcribe the recorded videos.  This is especially the case for companies that rely on video for online marketing or that are looking to reach non-English speaking audiences.

Video transcription can aid the viewers to better understand the content presented. The transcribed content is usually refined, without noises and pause fillers like um’s and ah’s.

You can get your videos transcribed automatically through tools and programs that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. For example, you can upload your videos to YouTube and they would be automatically transcribed through AI. YouTube’s AI can transcribe your content fast but not as accurate as a human transcriptionists. You will have to do some edits to make the transcripts perfect.

Various automatic transcription software programs rely on AI.  However, the accuracy of the transcribed content usually depends on various things, including:

Noise in the video. Generally, the less noisy your video is, the more accurate the transcription would be. The AI will have a difficult time transcribing sections of your video with lots of background or foreground noises.

Speakers’ accents. AI is also not well advanced to recognize unusual accents. The transcription produced by AI is as accurate as Google Voice. Therefore, if the speakers in the videos have unique accents, the resulting transcription would need some editing to be perfect.

Accuracy is a major issue with software that automatically transcribe content. It is nearly impossible to end up with 100% accurate transcription when relying on these software. Most of the time, you will have to hire proofreaders, who may also need to listen to the audio to confirm its accuracy and edit the text for accuracy. In essence, you will be doing double work.

Manual Video and Audio Transcription

The surest way of getting an accurate transcription of your video is by hiring a professional video transcription services company. While hiring human transcriptionists is more expensive than relying on AI, you will end up with accurate transcriptions that can actually be used by your audience.

Transcription involves more than simply typing what is heard in a video or audio file. Transcriptionists have to take into account the target audience that will be reading the transcribed content.  This is where captioning comes in.

Captions provide context about the transcribed text. Captioning enables readers to get a better understanding of the text discussions.

Human transcriptionists can provide captions but programs that rely on AI technology cannot. In the end, for the AI-transcribed content to be useful, it has to be proofread by a human and possibly captioned.

Why Use Professional Transcriptionists Over AI Transcription

When it comes to transcribing video or audio content, accuracy is everything. Your target audience should understand the transcribed content.

There is no doubt that AI speeds up the transcription process. However, it fails miserably in terms of accuracy. The only way to achieve 100% accurate transcriptions when using AI is when the video or audio sources do not have background of foreground noises and the speakers have accents that the AI program can understand. Unfortunately, these two requirements cannot be easily managed when shooting video.

Videos shot in a studio may not have noises that would interfere with the AI transcription program. However, managing a speaker’s accent is nearly impossible.

On the other hand, professional transcriptionists are guaranteed to provide accurate transcripts of your videos. The transcriptionists can also transcribe the videos based on your specific guidelines, for example, regarding formatting or captioning.

AI Transcription in the Modern Business Age
As AI technology continues to evolve, new programs are being developed that can transcribe video and audio content faster. However, the technology has not matured to 100% accuracy.

Still, AI can be used concurrently with human transcriptionists. Companies can pass their video content through AI software to get a first “rough draft” and then hire professional transcribers to proofread and improve the accuracy of the transcriptions.

The use of AI and human transcriptionists together is bound to increase in the coming years as the need for transcription services continues to rise. However, human transcriptionists are still the best option for producing accurate transcriptions of audio or video content.

Related post - Transcription Services Essentials

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc an Orange County, California based company that has been providing accurate and affordable transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed success at GMR for almost ten years now and has helped the company grow. Within two years of Beth managing GMR Transcription, it had doubled in sales and was named one of the OC Business Journal’s fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she likes spending time with her husband and two kids.