Transcription is a valuable tool that professionals across a wide range of industries use to convert audio and video content to written text. Written transcripts can support anyone who needs or prefers to receive information in a written format. For example, transcribing audio and video materials makes content more accessible to individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
There are many different transcription styles, approaches and services that support media content and communications. One increasingly popular option is automated transcription. Automated transcription services use advanced forms of artificial intelligence to interpret and transcribe human speech more quickly and efficiently than some other, more traditional approaches. Here’s a breakdown of advanced transcription technology and insight into the appropriate use cases for automated transcription solutions.
Benefits of Automation in Transcription Services
In a traditional transcription approach, a human transcriptionist listens repeatedly to an audio sample and manually writes out every word and audio element. Transcribers can deliver highly accurate final transcripts, but this method is not without drawbacks and limitations. Manual transcription is time-consuming and labor-intensive. As a result, hiring professional transcribers can be extremely costly. Additionally, individual human transcribers tend to be more limited in terms of bandwidth. Manual transcription services are, therefore, ill-suited for large-scale transcription projects.
Automated transcription tools offer an alternative method that taps into a type of artificial intelligence, specifically, automatic speech recognition technology or ASR. ASR uses highly advanced learning and language models to interpret human speech and convert audio to text.
Because they don’t rely on human labor, automated transcription services are more cost-effective. Additionally, artificial intelligence can complete repetitive tasks like transcription in a fraction of the time it would take to manually transcribe the same content. As a result, automated transcription services offer lightning-fast turnaround times, even for large-scale transcription jobs.
Comparison of Automated and Human Transcription Services
Automated and manual transcription processes each have their place within the world of accessibility and media. While all transcription tools share a common goal – converting audio and video to text – it’s important to select the right approach for each project. The most important thing to keep in mind about automated transcription tools is that ASR-generated transcripts tend to be less accurate than those produced by human transcriptionists.
Transcripts make digital content and communications more accessible. However, inaccurate transcripts may not make the cut when it comes to supporting the needs of individuals with disabilities and specific learning needs. Modern accessibility requirements like the ADA and WCAG dictate that any captions or transcripts provided to audience members must achieve exceptionally high accuracy rates to offer adequate support. If a business leader or content creator relies on transcription services to boost accessibility, they may want to use human-powered rather than automated transcription services.
Human transcribers have a far more nuanced understanding of human communication, so they often capture meaning or content more fully and accurately. Additionally, human transcribers review their work, which can offer clients higher levels of quality assurance. It’s also important to keep in mind that many industries require high levels of data security and confidentiality. Some automated transcription platforms are not secure enough for use in legal, medical or financial contexts. Professionals within those industries need to investigate providers’ data security and privacy policies.
Reasons for Using Transcription Services
Transcripts support hybrid and remote work arrangements where communication takes place frequently via phone and video conferencing platforms. While virtual communication solutions are convenient, they are not always accessible for individuals with disabilities.
Offering written transcripts of virtual workplace communications allows employees, clients and community members to receive equitable messaging. Written transcripts can be particularly beneficial for employees who are Deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for those individuals with ADHD, auditory processing disorders and other specific learning needs. Transcripts can also safeguard against misunderstandings and miscommunications related to low-quality audio or video streams and help prevent the loss of information.
Additionally, digital file storage solutions can easily get bogged down with lengthy recordings of events, meetings and other communications. Converting files to written text can make storing, locating, and referencing specific assets faster and easier. Searchable transcript formats further streamline the process of locating a particular piece of information or portion of a discussion.
Factors to Consider in Choosing Transcription Services
In addition to the accuracy, utility and security of a given transcription tool, there are a few other considerations. Here are some other critical decision-making factors:
Professionals in every industry have to remember their bottom. Transcription solutions come at a variety of price points, so it’s important to compare available transcription tools against your project or department’s budget. Some automated transcription tools offer on-demand service at a flat per-minute or per-word rate. Others are part of a package or subscription that users must purchase and renew annually. Some of these platforms offer multiple levels or tiers depending on the amount of content you transcribe. It’s also important to carefully research whether there are additional fees associated with requesting expedited turnaround times, additional rounds of editing or other services.
Professionals must ensure that a tool is compatible with the software platforms they already use. For example, if a business regularly holds meetings via Zoom, leaders will want to invest in a transcription solution that is, at a minimum, compatible with the platform. Ideally, a business leader would want to invest in a solution that integrates with Zoom or the communication platform of their choice to streamline and optimize transcription workflows. Similarly, if a content creator primarily posts on YouTube, they will want a transcription tool that works seamlessly with that platform. Some low-cost automated transcription options may not be fully compatible with certain media platforms or digital devices, so it’s important to research each tool’s unique specifications.
Some enhanced features and functions help users get more mileage from their written transcripts. While many free or low-cost automated transcription solutions only offer support for one language, other services boast multi-language transcription capabilities. Such features enable users to share their written transcripts with a more diverse audience.
Others offer high-level support for media projects through live transcription. These tools can support real-time communications like webinars, conferences and even in-person events. Offering live transcripts can help all participants engage more fully and equally during live events and communications without requiring certain attendees to wait for a transcript to be provided after the fact.
Verbit is one of the world’s leading transcription providers because it offers a variety of features, formats and functions to clients seeking top-tier transcription services. In addition to offering a wide range of integrations with popular media hosting and communication platforms, Verbit also boasts a wide selection of transcription formats and enhancements to help users improve the utility of their transcripts. For instance, Verbit’s new generative AI product suite generates summaries, keywords and headlines for more actionable transcripts.
Experience the Verbit Difference
Verbit stands apart from other transcription providers by offering a dual approach to transcription. When a file is uploaded to Verbit’s platform, it is initially transcribed by highly advanced, proprietary AI software. From there, a human transcriber will review and edit the initial transcript for maximum accuracy. Users can then download their final transcript in various file formats compatible with major media hosting, social media and communication platforms.
Verbit also offers unparalleled live transcription functionality to help users support their real-time communications and expand their reach to a broader audience. Verbit’s solutions integrate seamlessly with many of the cloud storage, communication and project/learning management platforms, further streamlining the transcription process.
Verbit has recently rolled out its self-service automated transcription platform for users looking to transcribe content on their terms. Our proprietary AI software delivers highly accurate transcripts and can complete even large-scale projects with guaranteed fast turnaround times. Plans start at just $0.15 per minute, making Verbit’s self-service platform a cost-effective solution for professionals seeking to transcribe their content on a budget.
Reach out to Verbit today and learn more about how our transcription solutions can support your team.