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Why AI Transcription is a Court Reporter’s Secret Weapon


The Role of the Court Reporter

Court reporters provide the indispensable service of a real-time record of depositions, hearings, and trials. Using various technologies, they compile a written, verbatim record of every word that is uttered during a legal proceeding.

Court reporters are especially crucial for depositions, in order to capture the details of testimony as a case unfolds. This is particularly significant in cases where a witness’s testimony is a central component of an attorney’s argument.

Having a detailed, word-for-word record allows the lawyer to perform a thorough cross-examination. If the transcript is absent, incomplete, or inaccurate, the witness can either forget their previous account or manipulate it, leaving the lawyer in an unfavorable position to prove their point.

Transcripts are an invaluable tool for lawyers to uncover the truth of events that took place and obtain a just result. A court reporter is much more effective in this regard than an unclear audio recording, as having access to a written record allows attorneys to target specific words or phrases that are pertinent to their case and then revisit them in greater detail at a later date.

The Benefits of AI Transcription

There was a time when almost all courts across the country provided a professional court reporter to maintain a faithful and detailed record of all proceedings. However, a shortage of reporters has left many legal professionals on their own when it comes to obtaining accurate transcripts of courtroom events.

AI transcription has the potential to rescue court systems from their chronic backlogs by filling in the gaps. When applied to automated speech recognition (ASR) technology, AI improves speech-to-text engines to the point that they can transcribe jargon-heavy legal proceedings highly accurately.

The best results come from solutions that leverage the power of human intelligence as well, as the automatically produced transcripts are then reviewed and edited by professional transcribers to ensure the highest level of accuracy. Moreover, any corrections or enhancements are then fed back to the ASR via adaptive algorithms, allowing the technology to constantly improve.

An AI solution delivers significant operational benefits for court reporting companies. Automating the transcription process dramatically reduces turnaround time to receive completed texts in days or even hours, a feat that was previously completely unheard of.

A solution that combines artificial and human intelligence also substantially decreases operating costs by shortening critical processes, allowing organizations to save time and money, and scale their businesses by pursuing new opportunities. Lastly, advanced technology also enables customized template options, to eliminate the need for time-consuming manual formatting.

Evolving Technology

The profession of court reporting has always been intrinsically connected with technology and has consequently evolved as the legal technology has changed. But, while the benefits are exciting, it’s important to note that skilled professionals are indispensable as monitors of technology. There is simply no replacement for human judgment.

Just as court reporters once traded in quills and inkwells for stenotype machines, AI-enabled transcription and voice recognition software represents the next frontier in reporting tools. These technologies are designed with simplicity and ease-of-use in mind to ensure a smooth transition and quick adoption.

By simplifying processes and optimizing workflows, AI-based legal transcription software represents a vital tool for court reporters. Going forward, those who become well-versed in the latest technologies are poised to become invaluable resources for all levels of courts as well as for the legal system at large.

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How AI Enhances Assistive Technologies

What Are Assistive Technologies?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines assistive technology as any product that helps maintain or improve an individual function. These devices exist all around us. Hearing aids, wheelchairs, eyeglasses, and prosthetic limbs are all examples of assistive technologies

Like all technology, these assistive products have evolved over time in terms of their capabilities, and adoption. New developments in the field of speech to text and features such as predictive text and spell checkers are just a few examples of tools that were initially developed to assist people with disabilities. Today, as a result of the tangible benefits for all users and not only those with disabilities, these features often come standard in computers and mobile devices. 

A Global Issue

The WHO estimates that over a billion people worldwide are living with some form of disability, of which 360 million have moderate to profound hearing loss. Although there is a great need for assistive technology to bridge the gaps and help these individuals maximize their quality of life, only one in 10 people with disabilities have access to these kinds of life-changing products.    

Assistive technologies help solve general accessibility, transportation and communication problems, and allow more people to live independently. Beyond the human factor, there is also an economic impact to consider. According to a report by Coherent Market Insights, the market for assistive technologies is expected to be worth over $26 billion by 2024.

The Transformative Impact of AI

Incorporating the latest advancements in AI into assistive technologies accelerates their development and enhances their capabilities with powerful features. New tools that build on progress in the field of machine learning bring enormous possibilities for supporting and assisting individuals with disabilities in their everyday lives.

AI profoundly improves accessible technology in many areas, including employment, everyday life, and communication. The latter is particularly significant for providing access to information as well as opportunities. As society continues to rely more and more on digital communication, AI-enabled tools prevent individuals from being left behind, regardless of how a person hears or speaks.

Advances such as speech-to-text transcription and captioning are already helping people with vision, hearing, and learning disabilities. Based on neural networks, this technology utilizes AI-enhanced automatic speech recognition engines, paired with human-augmented refinement. The corrections made by professional transcribers are fed back through machine learning technologies to continuously improve accuracy.

One of the most successful applications of this type of technology is in higher education. AI-enhanced transcription and captioning tools help students with hearing impairments as well as those who are not native speakers of the language of instruction fully participate in class and be more engaged with course materials. These technologies augment the learning experience for all students and enable new possibilities for better instruction and engagement.

Innovation For Disability is Innovation For Everyone

When technology is developed to address the most complex of needs, it ends up benefiting everyone. Many of the technologies that were initially developed for people with disabilities have gone on to become widely used by the general population. AI innovations such as image recognition, speech-to-text, chatbots, and self-driving vehicles are technologies that benefit all individuals, as well as society as a whole.

This principle makes sense from a product engineering perspective as well. Designing with accessibility in mind means creating a product that is more intuitive, feature-rich and, ultimately, able to reach and impact more people. By enhancing capabilities and leveling the playing field, AI helps assistive technology reach parts of the world where there are more people living with disabilities and fewer support services and resources to address them.  

Verbit at the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference

Interested in learning more about AI-driven academic transcription and captioning technology? Verbit’s smart 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 booth #1112 to learn how organizations can provide equal access to course content, increase engagement, and boost academic success for all students.

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