Why Human Transcription Service Surpasses Automated Machine Transcript

Transcription has been around for over a decade now. The only reason many people aren’t aware of its existence is that they don’t know that transcription is the act of converting audio to text.

You might have seen video captions, but didn’t give it much thought. Probably, you have just realized that the process of inserting those video captions is known as transcription. Academic researchers and experts in the medical and media world are speedily embracing this process and love the benefits that come with it.

Initially, individuals and companies saw it as an additional expense, but most of them have come to appreciate it as a powerful tool.

Some of the benefits associated with transcription services include;

  • It improves the turnaround time of tasks and processes in an organization or team.
  • Transcription services enhance the value of the content under review.
  • The employees can focus on more important work, leading to a general improvement in productivity.
  • When you convert audio to text, you increase its accessibility by people who have an interest in it.

Types of Transcription

There are two types of transcription, namely automated transcription and human transcription.

Automated transcription

This utilizes speech recognition tools to convert audio to text in a couple of minutes.

Human transcription

As the term suggests, is performed by real people. They listen to an audio or video file and then convert it into text.

While automated transcriptions can produce a transcript in a matter of minutes, the majority of professionals and organizations prefer human transcription by far.

Here are some of the features that make human transcription better than automated transcription:

Ability to handle background noise

This is perhaps the most significant advantage of using humans instead of a speech recognition tool to transcribe audio to text.

Humans have a natural ability to filter information amidst background noise. You cannot say the same about automated transcription software. While a person should do their best to provide high-quality videos, sometimes it becomes impossible. In such instances, only a human transcript can deliver a perfect transcript.

The immense difficulty that automated transcription software experiences when it comes to handling background noise leads to a poor outcome. In worst case scenarios, the software may reject the audio or video file

Ability to comprehend different dialects and accents

The presence of varying accents and dialects in an audio file makes it difficult for automated transcription software to transcribe audio to text.

On the other hand, humans are used to hearing and distinguishing different dialects and accents. This exposure, accompanied by the natural ability of human beings to adapt, makes human transcription the best in such instances.

Irrespective of the speaker’s accent, a human can hack it!

Ability to understand homophones

Among the fastest and easiest ways of determining if a transcript was done by software or a human being is to look for mistakes in homophones.

Examples of homophones include: too, to and two; by, bye and buy; its and it’s and so on.

These are words that have similar pronunciation, yet different meanings, spellings, or origin.

Automated transcription software depends on the sentence structure to predict the most suitable word to apply. In some cases, mistakes can occur. While errors are probable when a human is transcribing audio to text, they are more likely to happen when working with speech recognition software.

Ability to Identify the Number of Speakers

If you want accuracy when using speech recognition software, make sure that the audio file doesn’t have more than two speakers.

If the file contains more than two individual speakers, then an automated machine transcription shouldn’t be an option.

Apart from being unable to identify many speakers, a speech recognition tool cannot track these speakers accurately, throughout the file.

Also, speech recognition tools cannot guarantee correct punctuation, especially quotations, hyphens, capitalization, as well as exclamation marks.

On the other hand, a human being can easily understand and identify many speakers – even in circumstances where their voices seem alike. Files recorded during business meetings are better of being transcribed to text by a human transcriber.

It guarantees a near perfect transcript

By paying for human transcription services, you can anticipate an almost perfect transcript.

From being able to identify different speakers and homophones in an audio file, to ensuring proper capitalization and understanding multiple dialects and accents, human transcription promises 95% accuracy.

Humans are also able to understand industry jargon.

Also, the time coding feature available in manual transcripts comes in handy in determining the point at which a speaker spoke a given sentence. This feature is particularly useful when working on video captions to ensure that the subtitles come up at the right time.

Who should use human transcription?

Organizations looking for a way to ensure compliance with brand guidelines should consider hiring human transcribers to generate high-quality transcripts.

A good example of projects that can benefit from human transcription services is TV shows, on matters to do with subtitles.

Content in the scientific and medical papers are highly sensitive. As such, a human transcriber is preferable to type the findings.

The legal field can benefit from human transcription in areas such as court transcripts, depositions, as well as other critical documents.

It is imperative to mention that manual transcription is usually more expensive than automated transcription. This issue has made people who were fixated on using human transcribers to change their mind at the last minute.

However, consider paying attention to other hassles that might cost you more money than you would have spent on human transcription services. For instance, the mistakes emanating from automated transcription can be costly.

At one time, a missing punctuation led to an engine failure of a rocket, and the cost was a whopping $620 million.

Final Thoughts

To this end, you hopefully understand that it is wiser to hire a professional to convert audio to text on your behalf instead of using automated machine transcription services.

A human transcriber, especially a highly experienced one, has everything it takes to produce a clean, polished, and presentable transcript.