According to current estimates, employees spend an average of 33% of their workweek in meetings. These meetings may occur in person, over the phone or via virtual communication platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. No matter the format, business leaders and executives must find ways to keep their communications engaging and productive.
Transcribing workplace communications is a great way to support meeting attendees, clients and other community members. Professionals looking to incorporate transcription technology into their meetings and other communications may find themselves overwhelmed by the different transcription solutions currently on the market. Automatic transcription is one of modern business leaders’ most widely used transcription tools. However, are auto-transcripts sufficient for professional transcription projects? Let’s discuss the basics of automatic transcription and explore whether this technology-powered transcription approach can fully support the diverse needs of modern workers.
What is automatic transcription?
Transcription broadly refers to the process of converting audio to text. Transcribing audio and video recordings is a great way to expand their reach and make information more readily accessible to employees and clients. Written transcripts of professional communications can be made available to employees and other meeting attendees to improve accessibility and make it easier for participants to collaborate. Transcribing these communications proactively can also boost engagement during meetings by reducing the need for attendees to take notes.
In a traditional transcription process, professional human transcribers watch videos or listen to audio recordings and manually type out everything they hear. Many transcriptionists use advanced software platforms and technologies to help them complete their manual transcription projects. For example, some transcribers use foot pedals to pause and play an audio recording as they work. This approach allows them to control playback while continuing to type. While this process generally produces highly accurate final transcripts, professional transcribers tend to be expensive to hire and prone to bandwidth issues that can delay large-scale transcription projects.
For this reason, many individuals have recently come to rely upon automatic transcription technology. Many popular media hosting sites and social media platforms allow users to take advantage of built-in auto-transcription tools. By generating transcripts automatically, users can complete their transcription projects more quickly and cost-effectively.
Applications and features of automatic transcription
There are many possible uses for automatic transcription solutions. In fact, you probably use some form of this technology every single day without even realizing it. Auto-transcription relies on automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology. ASR is the same type of software solution that powers everything from virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa to the speech-to-text function on your phone.
Automatic transcription can help boost productivity in the workplace in several ways. For example, business leaders can easily transcribe videos of important meetings and other communications and provide the written version to employees as a reference tool. Written transcriptions are also valuable for remote and hybrid employees who can’t always physically attend meetings and other events. These individuals and others stand to benefit from highly accurate meeting notes. Transcribing information can help streamline messaging for all community members and enable teammates to collaborate more effectively.
Business leaders can also use automatic transcription tools to transcribe marketing content like video ads and podcast episodes. Converting these kinds of audio and video content to text makes it possible to share information more widely with those who may not otherwise engage with it. Furthermore, publicly posting the written transcripts of these materials can help boost a brand’s SEO ranking by making the information discoverable by search engines.
Pricing and subscription options
While many consider ASR a cost-effective transcription solution, it is important to remember that every platform has its own pricing and subscription structure. Some media-hosting sites offer unlimited free auto-transcription to all users, while others require users to purchase and renew subscriptions with particular limitations and requirements.
For example, some auto-transcription platforms only offer users a specific number of transcription minutes depending on their selected membership tier. A subscriber with a lite or basic membership may need to upgrade to a more expensive membership option once they’ve run out of transcription minutes. It’s also important for subscribers to stay up-to-date on their renewals and monthly payments to avoid gaps in their transcription service.
Integration and compatibility
When selecting a transcription solution, users must also consider whether their desired product is compatible with all the platforms and devices they regularly use. Relying solely on YouTube’s automatic speech recognition tool, for example, would only allow users to transcribe content from the YouTube platform. Since YouTube’s auto-transcriptions aren’t downloadable, users would need to generate and upload a new transcript every time they share a video on a new platform.
It’s also important to consider device compatibility. Some transcription tools might be meant or built into Android devices, making your transcripts inaccessible to Apple users and vice versa. Since modern workers often rely upon various devices and operating systems, it’s important to find a transcription solution that all team members can use.
Privacy and security considerations
Business leaders must also carefully consider their security and privacy needs when selecting transcription technology. Confidential communications or recordings that contain sensitive information require extra care. Many low-cost automatic transcription tools don’t offer high data security or encryption levels for these kinds of communications. This issue can lead to major privacy concerns for employees and clients alike.
Limitations and factors affecting transcription accuracy
Accuracy is the most significant factor to consider when choosing a transcription solution or platform. When implemented properly, transcription can be a remarkably valuable tool for improving accessibility in the workplace. Offering information in a written format can make business environments more inclusive of individuals with certain disabilities and specific learning needs. For example, a recent hire who is Deaf or hard of hearing can use written transcripts of training videos to ensure they receive equitable messaging.
Automatic transcription tools, while convenient and seemingly cost-effective, often fall short of the standards within critical accessibility standards and guidelines. Automatic transcription tools that rely on artificial intelligence aren’t always capable of accurately interpreting or representing nuances in human speech. AI may particularly struggle to transcribe audio recordings with multiple speakers or accents. Similarly, automatic transcription software often fails to accurately transcribe information from a video with poor audio quality or substantial background noise.
Verbit: An accurate alternative to auto-transcription
Business leaders should invest in a transcription solution that doesn’t rely solely on automatic transcription technology. Professional transcription services like Verbit offer a cost-effective alternative for business leaders seeking an accurate and efficient transcription solution.
Verbit’s approach to transcription delivers highly accurate final transcripts that support accessibility guidelines like the Americans with Disabilities Act. When a user uploads a recording to Verbit’s platform, it is initially transcribed using highly advanced, proprietary AI software. The initial auto-transcript then undergoes review and editing by a professionally trained human transcriber before it becomes available for download in various compatible file formats. In addition to standard transcription file formats like VTT files, Verbit offers a searchable transcript format that allows users to easily find specific keywords and phrases within their videos and audio recordings.
Verbit‘s enhanced support for live communications like Zoom meetings, phone calls, lectures and more makes using the platform easy. With Verbit, you can transcribe a meeting in real time to assist all audience members tuning in live. After a meeting, Verbit’s team will review and edit the live transcript to ensure maximum accuracy before distribution.
With seamless software integrations, industry-leading accuracy rates and guaranteed delivery times, Verbit’s assistive technology solutions offer enhanced support for employees, audience members and clients. For a transcription solution that can boost productivity while improving accessibility, contact Verbit.