How Does AI Fit into the Transcription Process?

By: Danielle Chazen



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AI is now being used to fuel the transcription process. Transcripts were formerly thought of as materials delivered to media outlets after important speeches or to legal professionals in courtroom settings. While these uses continue to be relevant, transcripts are being utilized by a growing number of enterprises, universities and professionals.

Transcripts provide word-for-word records of meetings, virtual conference calls and lectures. They also help to provide an accessible material to individuals navigating disabilities, such as hearing loss, who need to read what was said.

AI is playing an increasingly significant role in the evolution and automatic production of transcripts in these settings.

people sitting in a circle in a conference room with post-its on the wall

What is an automated transcription process, and when is it used?

Automated transcription is based on speech-to-text technology. It replaces the need for manual processes, such as having an assistant or note taker write out each word that is said in a meeting, for example. Instead, technology is employed to ‘listen in’, take the spoken word and translate it into text seamlessly.

Automated transcription usually relies on automatic-speech-recognition (ASR) machines which are based on Artificial Intelligence. These machines can be utilized in both live and recorded, or post-production, settings. AI can be used to transcribe live or recorded audio or videos into text.

From classroom lectures to interviews to speeches to physician exams to legal depositions, transcriptions are seeing many additional use cases. There are also many examples where providing a live transcript can be critical, such as in a classroom setting.

For example, a student who is hard of hearing can participate equally with peers when live AI-powered transcription is offered to them. This student is visually delivered the professor’s words along with the classroom dialogue and therefore given equal opportunity to collaborate and succeed. In legal settings, AI-powered transcripts are also critical in industries which are undergoing shifts, such as helping to account for the growing shortage of human stenographers available to service legal proceedings.

How accurate are AI-produced transcripts?

There are an array of AI-based transcription providers on the market. Some offer free tools, while others offer more complex technology that delivers greater accuracy, but at a cost. Regardless of price, the time saved when utilizing AI for transcripts is often worth the small amount invested in utilizing them.

Depending on the provider and service being used, AI can produce highly accurate transcripts. It’s simply a myth that technology won’t produce accurate transcription results. AI on its own typically performs at 80%+ accuracy rates, but oftentimes, and with greater use, it performs much higher. Coupling the technology with human editors will help to achieve these faster results, but ensure the high accuracy that some industries, including higher education and legal, rely on.

What is special about Verbit’s AI-powered transcription process, and how does it work?

Verbit is unique in that it provides professionals, students and media outlets with the dual power of artificial and human intelligence. These joint forces help Verbit get closer to its targeted 99% accuracy of transcripts, which is crucial for many industries.

Verbit has its own ASR (automatic-speech-recognition) machine based on Artificial Intelligence, which when put to work can produce transcripts in real time. This live capability ensures that students, employees and viewers navigating an array of disabilities or circumstances are provided with equal opportunities to consume content and participate with their peers.

Verbit’s AI-generated transcripts also offer differentiated value in that they are actionable. Users can search these transcripts in real-time for keywords, take notes, highlight within them and take advantage of additional interactive features.

If time is of the essence, these AI-powered transcripts produce strong enough results to begin being used on their own. Verbit can and does recommend complementing the AI with human fact checkers though. These human editors can work on transcripts live as they are produced by the ASR machine. This dual process enables Verbit to better reach its targeted 99% accuracy rates which are needed to guarantee accessibility or meet ADA guidelines in academic settings.

Verbit’s transcription service also gets smarter with each use to produce greater accuracy each time a client uses it. The machine can learn to identify a speaker’s voice or differentiate between multiple voices. It can pick up on quick cadences and nuances as well with time. Additionally, users can upload difficult terminology into the machine before using it to help train it. For example, a biology professor can upload materials from the textbook into Verbit’s ASR machine so the technology learns the terms the professor will likely reference in lectures and transcribe them properly when they are mentioned.

The ability to upload massive amounts of information into an AI-powered machine to produce transcripts truly sets Verbit and other AI-powered solutions apart from transcriptions generated by humans alone. Since we’re only human, of course we would take more time to internalize difficult terminology and materials or experience more difficulty identifying speakers. However, humans are still a critical part of the process and utilizing them to edit the information produced by AI is always the recommended strategy.