How Artificial Intelligence Helps the Audio Transcription Industry

Explore how technology changes the speech-to-text transcriptions

There are certain industries where humans still can’t be replaced by robots or technology. At least not completely. Transcribing expertise matters more than anything but the industry is coming up with tools and ways of automating audio to text transcriptions.

Fully capturing the nuances of speech means human touch is needed, but in an increasingly automated world, Artificial intelligence (AI) has managed to catch up with the needs of transcribing professionals. In this article, you will learn how and why it will continue to play an important role in the industry.

Firstly, what does speech-to-text mean?

Basically, what any audio transcription does is put a recorded content into text form. The type of track could be in the form of a video or audio only, like a podcast or an interview. The transcription could be word-for-word, as well as including some background noises and music. 

Why is it important?

There are plenty of reasons to transcribe your audio files. Besides being a real time-saver for users who like to skim through text instead of listening to the full podcast or interview, it also helps search engines. Google likes words, we all know that. The more text your website has, the better the chances to score high organic traffic and get better SEO results are. When collecting the most suitable results among thousands of pages, Google “crawls” text data from websites and ranks the appropriate ones first. Yet, the crawlers don’t cover audio, video, and images. So, the good indexing of your website largely depends on words. Now, back to the benefit transcribing brings to the users, especially the non-native speakers. Seeing content written that’s written word-for-word gives a better chance to understand and engage with your content.

Now that we have covered the major benefits to having audio turned into a text, you would ask why mix technology with it? Well, it’s because the downside of audio transcription is how time-consuming it can be. Here’s where AI comes into play. Even though speech-to-text software has not been known for its great accuracy and quality, things are changing thanks to the technological advancements in the field.

How do automated transcriptions work?

Unlike manual transcriptions, especially those of larger audio and video files, its automated counterpart is significantly faster. When working with AI software, you get the chance to upload the file to speech recognition and natural language processing tools. Siri, iPhone’s staple voice assistant, works in a similar way. Different algorithms are put in use in order to catch the phrases accurately and process them in a meaningful manner. In the last five years, the Google Machine word accuracy has grown from 70% to 95%, reaching the threshold for human accuracy rate. This demonstrates how quickly technology adapts to the needs of the industry. Both established companies and startups are making advancements towards reaching higher grounds through different approach and marketing strategies.

Why choose automated instead of manual?

The scarcest resource we fight for in today’s day and age is none other than time. That’s why we outsource tedious and energy-consuming tasks. That is also why the need for automation in the transcription industry is at its peak. Even though humans would still be more accurate than machines, automated transcripts can be easily polished afterward and will take much less time than if a person does it. What can take humans 24 hours to several days will only take minutes with speech-analyzing software. If you need the transcription ASAP, machines will be your best friend.

Another major advantage of AI is that it cheapens the transcription services substantially. Compare $0.10 per minute for an automated service to $1.00 per minute for manual transcription. It will significantly change the total if the file is larger. What’s more, it’s the perfect solution for people who require more privacy for their documents as they will have just the machine going over their media files. They are never seen by a human, which means your data and its confidentiality are fully protected.

All in all, as AI continues to interfere with many industries and facilitate the processes in them, it will continue to gain traction and become even better at its job to help humans, without fully replacing them. Naturally, nuanced language and complicated phrasing might escape the analytical capabilities of some speech recognition software, but on the whole, the future of audio transcriptions will undoubtedly be influenced by the growing technological advancements. Manual transcriptions won’t fully go extinct as a service, of course, but the rise of AI will make user’s life easier and transcriptions more affordable.

Image credit: Artificial Intelligence via whiteMocca/Shutterstock

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