25 Mar 2019 Verbit Editorial
4min read

How Artificial and Human Intelligence Can Solve the Court Reporter Shortage

The justice system has a tendency to move slowly. This centuries-old problem hearkens back to Shakespearean times, with The Bard himself mentioning “the law’s delay” as one of life’s greatest disappointments in Hamlet’s famed “To be, or not to be” soliloquy.

While things have certainly improved since then, the concept remains just as relevant today. The bureaucratic inefficiency of the justice system is being further compounded by court reporter shortage. Due to the trend of increased court workloads, the demand for qualified court reporters has now far surpassed the supply. Since all court proceedings—including hearings, trials, and depositions—must have a reporter present, the most notable effect of the shortage is the delaying of legal processes.

Technology Solution to Court Reporter Shortage

While the legal sector is often viewed as traditional when it comes to technology, things are changing. For example, the adoption of digital recording technology has become common in courts across the country. Alaska, Indiana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont use audio digital recording in all or most of their general jurisdiction court sessions, while many other states are not far behind. This speaks to the positive shift of tech adoption across the board.

In keeping with this trend, AI technology is quickly emerging as a viable solution to the growing court reporter shortage. When applied to automated speech recognition (ASR) technology, AI has the potential to improve speech-to-text engines to the point that they can transcribe jargon-heavy legal proceedings highly accurately. AI transcription has the potential to help court systems with their chronic backlogs by filling in the gaps where there aren’t enough court reporters present to ensure the speedy delivery of justice.

Advantages of AI for Court Reporting

The benefits of adopting an AI solution are too powerful to ignore. One of the most critical advantages is the ability to achieve higher accuracy. Automatically produced transcripts are reviewed and edited by professional transcribers to ensure 99%+ accuracy. Adaptive algorithms ensure that any corrections or enhancements that are made are then fed back to the ASR, allowing the legal technology to constantly improve over time.

In addition, automating part of the transcription process dramatically reduces turnaround time to receive completed files from weeks to days, or even hours. Automation also significantly decreases operating costs and provides the capability to produce customized templates, eliminating the need for manual formatting. Leveraging an AI solution for transcription shortens all critical processes, allowing organizations to save time and money, and enable greater scalability by pursuing new business opportunities.

From Court Reporter to Court Technologist

No matter how exciting the benefits of technology may be, human judgment is irreplaceable. The innovation of AI applied to legal transcription software has the potential to pave the way for an updated version of the invaluable profession of court reporting. A skilled individual who is an expert at overseeing the many different court technologies and ensuring that they function for optimal results is sure to be in high demand going forward.

The adoption of emerging AI technology debunks the notion that courts are tech-resistant, and speaks to the positive trend of adoption across the board. While human court reporters must remain an integral part of the process, their teaming up with technology brings benefits for the entire court system. The fusion of artificial and human intelligence represents a new frontier in the pursuit of equal justice under the law that is guaranteed to all Americans.

Verbit at the AAERT Conference

Interested in learning more about AI-driven legal transcription and proofreading technology? Verbit’s smart transcription solution harnesses the power of artificial and human intelligence to generate the most detailed speech-to-text files, providing over 99% accuracy and the fastest turnaround time in the industry. Stop by our table at the conference to learn how court reporting organizations can obtain timely and accurate transcripts while cutting costs in half.