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Comparison of Voice-Automated Transcription & Human Transcription

SyberScribe AUTHOR: SyberScribe, October 16th, 2019

Rapid technological advances have brought about new possibilities in the field of transcription. Companies can now choose between voice-automated transcription and human transcription. If you have audio or video recordings that you want to be transcribed and aren’t sure which option is better for you, we’ll be looking at their advantages and disadvantages to help you make the right decision.

What is voice-automated transcription?

Voice-automated transcription makes use of computer-based, speech recognition software to transcribe audio and video recordings. The software listens to the recordings and then turns the spoken language into text by matching the sounds to the words in its built-in dictionary in different languages. In the end, you’ll receive a first-draft, time-coded transcript that can be edited online using the built-in editor tool.

The advantages of voice-automated transcription

  • Can be completed in just minutes, eg a 30-minute file can be transcribed in less than 5 minutes. A 2-hour file can be transcribed in 30 minutes. This means you don’t have to wait days to receive your transcripts.
  • Can transcribe a single audio or video file, so there’s no need to separate the files and have them transcribed individually. Transcription for a single file costs less than having multiple people transcribe multiple files.
  • Can automatically place captions at the right time on the video with the help of the time-coded transcript. You can also embed captions in the video yourself using the site’s built-in editor tool.
  • Can transcribe audio and video recordings in many different languages.
  • No human sees the recordings or the transcript, as it’s done entirely by machines. Once the recording has been transcribed, you’ll receive an email with a link that takes you to the online transcript.
  • If you prefer a do-it-yourself solution and want to transcribe monologue recordings with good audio quality, this may be a great fit for you.

The disadvantages of voice-automated transcription

  • Can’t identify different speakers, so the transcript will be a single flow of text that doesn’t show if more than one person is speaking.
  • Can’t transcribe accurately or fully if there’s background noise, overlapping speech, non-standard grammatical patterns, varying speaker accents or dialects, quiet or rapid speakers, or mumbling. Even with clear audio, accuracy is only up to 95%.
  • Doesn’t have language inference systems, so it can’t make corrections based on context or identify appropriate paragraph breaks, punctuation marks, and proper capitalisations.
  • Doesn’t analyse the recordings more than once, resulting in more errors. This includes not analysing slang and jargon, as well as names of people and places.
  • You’ll need to hire proofreaders and editors to fix the mistakes in the transcript, consuming more of your time, resources, and costs.

What is human transcription?

Human transcription makes use of people to transcribe audio and video recordings. A person listens to the recordings and then types the words into a document. Human transcribers use special transcription equipment and a shorthand system (eg simplifying letters or words and using symbols to represent words and phrases) to help them convert speech to text. You’ll also receive a time-coded transcript.

The advantages of human transcription

  • Humans are more reliable and this is essential in both medical and legal transcription as there can’t be any mistakes.
  • Humans can better comprehend nuances, which helps them to detect background noise and separate it from the transcribed data.
  • A person will listen to recordings more than once, resulting in high-quality, accurate transcriptions. This includes relistening to fast talkers and speakers with accents.
  • Humans can better discern and recognise the context of webinars, conference calls, podcasts, and other audio or video recordings.
  • Humans can better comprehend common tones and phrases or industry-specific jargon, delivering better transcripts than voice-automated transcription.
  • A person can choose to slow down the playback speed of the audio or video recording so they can type at their own pace, resulting in more accurate transcriptions.
  • Highly trained transcriptionists are skilled at deciphering, typing, reviewing, and polishing their transcriptions.
  • Humans strive to eliminate any errors and mistakes, which results in an accuracy rate beyond 95%.
  • Can also be secure as you’re covered by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
  • A person can embed captions in the video on your behalf and it’ll be more accurate too.
  • Humans can create high-quality transcripts that allow you to remain compliant with industry rules and regulations.
  • Despite the higher cost, a human with attention to detail can save you money as there will be fewer or no mistakes to fix.

The disadvantages of human transcription

  • Costs can vary depending on the transcription service, audio or video length, turnaround time, etc.
  • Can take time to find the best deal and the best fit for your transcription needs.

Using human transcription for your medical practice

Overall, human transcription using the best sound technology is more reliable and accurate and is the better choice for your medical practice. At SyberScribe, we employ medical transcriptionists who can provide quick turnaround times and high-quality, accurate transcriptions. Do you need something transcribed? Call SyberScribe today about your transcription needs on 1300 764 482 orcontact us online.