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What is Voice Recognition Used for and How Does it Work?


Voice recognition technology identifies a speaker and authenticates that he or she is indeed that individual. Unlike speech recognition, which identifies the words spoken, voice recognition analyzes countless patterns and elements that distinguish one person’s voice from another. Voice recognition is now being used in every facet of our lives, personally and professionally.


How Is Voice Recognition Used in Everyday Life?

Voice recognition products are quickly becoming part of everyday life. For example, Google’s smart home kit allows you to set your devices to begin working before you even get home. You can turn on the lights and heat, unlock your door, and monitor your spaces seamlessly and remotely.

Speech recognition identifies the words you use. You can search for a video on YouTube without typing or turn on a smart TV without clicking a button. Voice recognition takes it one step further, ensuring that only your voice can unlock your home. The technology identifies your specific voice and you rely on its ability to do so to keep you safe.

Voice-enabled devices also recognize specific voices within a home. These recognition abilities prevent your kids from using devices to shop without your permission. They also help to differentiate from family members who are scheduling appointments with connected devices.  

Automatic Voice Recognition Is Empowering Students

In addition to its capabilities in the home, voice recognition is empowering universities to aid students with disabilities. Smart classrooms are now implementing advanced technologies like voice-activated academic transcription software.

When campuses transcribe their classes, deaf and hard of hearing students gain access to educational opportunities that they couldn’t access previously. AI-based transcription software makes it easy for them to differentiate between when a university professor is speaking and when its a peer speaking or asking a question when listening to recorded lectures for example.

Voice recognition tools also empower the higher education industry with the ability to use voice dictation systems when written papers are required to be submitted. Whether a student is blind, suffering from an injury or simply doesn’t perform well in certain aspects of academia, he or she can greatly benefit from the many uses that voice recognition tools provide. 


How Voice Recognition Tools Improve the Justice System

When it comes to legal proceedings, such as court hearings and depositions, where many people are involved, recording and transcribing the process is often necessary. The industry is experiencing a shortage of stenographers and therefore turning to voice-activated legal transcription software.

While AI-based transcription products help court reporting agencies train the software to recognize industry terms, automatic voice recognition engines can distinguish between the many speakers present in the same room and account for common interruptions. As the technology grows more sophisticated, court reporting agencies are able to leverage software to produce 99% accurate transcriptions.


How Voice Recognition Products Keep Us Safe

In addition to recognizing a consumer’s specific voice to unlock his door, some banks are now allowing access to accounts via voice recognition instead of passwords. Voices are comprised of countless elements that make them unique. Therefore, it is much easier to hack an account by uncovering someone’s password, and much more challenging to hack when voice recognition is implemented.

Voice recognition software programs are also supporting law enforcement in the field. When officers are solving crimes, documenting everything that happens can make or break a case. With no need to stop and jot notes down, officers can perform their jobs more efficiently. Officers can dictate notes to their devices and get these notes transcribed.

When multiple officers use the same voice dictation system, or when they operate in busy environments with a lot of noise, automatic voice recognition is critical in order to know which officer saw or did what on the scene.


Future Uses of Voice Recognition Technology

Voice recognition will continue to impact our future. As more voice recognition software programs are developed, we’re likely to see an increase in voice-enabled devices and third-party applications to enhance our usage.

Voice profiles will also grow more sophisticated, leading to more personalized experiences that encourage deeper adoption. Voice ads will be more personalized too and making purchases online will be easier and more secure when voice recognition could become a requirement for payment. As technology identifies voices, their tones, and their contexts more clearly, criminal acts and legal procedures will grow more transparent and higher education will become more personalized and accessible. As voice recognition usage increases, it will no longer be a question of who uses voice recognition software, but who doesn’t.

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Digital Court Reporter: Reasons to Hire & Become One

There is a growing shortage of stenographers. This reality combined with the fact that the average age of a court reporter is 53, leaves cause for concern about the profession’s future. Additional contributing factors to this shortage include a significant decrease in graduates from professional stenographic training and the closure of many training schools, according to the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT).

To overcome these hurdles, the legal industry has been tapping into digital court recording systems, such as audio and video recordings of proceedings and advanced transcription technologies, which provide accurate court reporting.

To help companies in this field understand the new landscape, we’ve provided a quick overview of what it means to transition into digital, including advantages and important concerns. 


What is a Digital Court Reporter?

Like a stenographer, a digital court reporter, also known as an electronic court reporter, is a notary. Responsibilities include swearing in witnesses and marking exhibits, just using a different court reporter device.

Instead of the traditional court reporter machine, these professionals record the proceedings using digital technology. That usually means audio, but sometimes includes video. Professionals take notes during the recordings either manually or by annotating in a software platform, and then submit these for transcription into a cohesive document afterward.


How Digital Court Reporting Future-Proofs Your Business

The biggest difference between digital and standard stenographic court reporting is that digital court recording systems allow businesses to grow and future-proof their operations.

Both clients and the legal system as a whole are transitioning into digital. There’s little dispute that digital court reporting is more efficient. Companies can get faster transcripts at better prices and avoid unwanted delays due to the stenographer shortage.

The legal system as a whole is recognizing the nuance of unnecessary delays, keeping people’s lives in limbo for too long with taxpayers footing the bill. All US states now allow digital court reporting, and there’s a growing pressure on court reporters to adapt.

Cost savings is also a significant factor. Based on data from the AAERT, court reporting companies that transition into digital are expected to save nearly $250K USD over the next decade simply by transitioning from stenography to digital court reporting systems. Advanced technologies therefore provide the opportunity to lower costs, while also serving more clients faster.


How Digital Court Reporting Provides a Competitive Career Advantage

For industry professionals, choosing to learn how to operate digital court recording systems now, when adoption is still growing but not fully spread, is a way to guarantee competitiveness and experience. Digital court reporters can now expect to earn an average of $43K a year, with some earning as high as $99,500, according to ZipRecruiter.


How Digital Court Reporting Improves Turnaround and Quality

Legal clients prefer to work with digital court reporters due to the faster turnaround that advanced transcription software provides. Due to artificial intelligence, instantaneous transcription also continues to be more accurate, as the software learns from its mistakes. Even if the transcription provider offers additional review by humans, the process is faster.

A top concern and also deciding factor is the quality and accuracy of court reports. Since the software is trained to understand both legal terms and a client’s own specific situation, the most advanced products provide 99% accuracy. Similarly, if selected software features an automatic sound recognition (ASR) engine, it can distinguish between different speakers to avoid confusion.

Even during the proceeding itself, playing back recorded audio is more accurate than reading a manually-written transcript.


Common Digital Court Reporting Concerns & How to Easily Overcome Them

It’s clear that digital transformation and technology provide many benefits, but we’d be remiss not to mention the industry’s concerns about security and privacy.

Unlike paper documents, which can easily be accessed by anyone, digital documents and files can be protected using a wide range of cybersecurity protection tools. Many software providers have taken measures to secure their products, adhering to HIPPA compliance and providing end to end encryption.

There is also some hesitation about working with machines instead of humans. It’s important to note that digital court reporting requires a human court reporter be present at every proceeding, even if it is machine-recorded. The human court reporter is in charge of ensuring the technology is working properly, providing quality recordings and accurate transcriptions. The reporter also is responsible for taking notes throughout the proceeding to set the technology up for success.


How to Become a Digital Court Reporter, or Transition Your Stenographers into Digital

Whether you’re interested in becoming a digital court reporter, training your stenographers to become digital court reporters, or are just interested in the market when considering recruitment of new talent, remember that requirements vary by state.

More than half of US states require court reporter certification, usually one of two AAERT certifications: certified electronic court reporter (CER) or certified electronic transcriber (CET). In some states, electronic court reporters are also required to have NCRA RPR certification to operate digital court recording systems.

You can find more details in this free ebook, which also provides a step-by-step process to becoming a digital court reporting company, including the equipment an agency needs and how much budget is required.


Integrate the Latest Technologies to Empower Your Team and Grow Your Business

While court reporter devices may change, the critical need for human professionals to operate these devices is crucial for a fair legal process. Technological advancements are developed to empower a court reporter’s work and create ease and efficiency.

Technology presents a win-win for all. Legal professionals find it easier to bring justice to clients and court reporting agencies can thrive even when faced with a stenographer shortage.

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