Transcription Services - Human Versus Automatic

Transcription is the name of a process in which video or audio speech is converted into text. It was done manually by human transcribers for a long time. As technology develops more and more each day and the market grows, there are more events to cover. Especially with virtual events offering limitless audiences, covering all that content is almost impossible. With huge demand, a large amount of information, and content to create, manual transcription takes too much time and effort. It slowly gives its way to automatic transcription software programs. In this article, we will look at both human and automatic transcription services and compare them in regards to their benefits and shortcomings.  

Manual transcription involves the use of individual services rather than technology to create a transcript. It is done by listening to the audio file and writing or typing the text. In comparison, automatic transcription uses automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology, which automatically converts the audio to text. Let’s look at different factors and see how they perform in each regard.

Speed and productivity – When it comes to speed, automatic software, without a doubt, comes on top. Automatic transcription services provide transcriptions for the same audio file in a matter of minutes, compared with human transcribers who may need several days. For an hour of a file, the transcription process takes around 10 minutes with automatic software, while the same file can take up to 3 days to be transcribed by the human.

Accuracy – Human factor is more efficient in this matter. Even though there are more advanced technologies than before, ASR can still make some mistakes during the process. The main reasons for that are some heavy accents or dialects, noisy background, or too many people speaking at the same time. On the plus side, built-in ASR in this technology can differentiate between the speakers and tell you the number of them, even though it is not as accurate as a human transcriber. Another possible drawback for the automatic transcription is that it can also show the filler words that are not too important. The human transcriber cuts these filler words during the process.  

Cost – It is one of the main reasons people opt for automatic transcription services. In order to use the automatic services, you pay ten to twenty times less money compared with the human service. That is a significant amount of money, especially if it is a large audio file. It is also worth mentioning that some automatic services can give you a free plan. You can test the software with that plan or even can use it regularly with some time limits. On the other hand, it is also tough to find transcribers who know how to transcribe audio professionally. There is a growing shortage of human transcribers available on the market, and with fewer individuals available for the service, costs can also be high.

Information safety – One of the benefits that come with an automatic transcription service is the safety of information on the audio file. If you have sensitive information that you do not want to give to a third party – a human transcriber, you can use cloud-based automatic software that can be installed on your company servers. It guarantees you will be the only one who has access to that information. It is designed to prevent security breaches and cyber-attacks.

To sum it up, choosing either service depends on the features that come with them. If you want higher accuracy and have a lot of time and money, you should opt for human service. If you wish for a much more cost-effective service with more productivity, speed, and safety, automatic transcription service is the way to go.