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Exploring the best way to transcribe audio to text in 2019 - way with words

Exploring the Best Way to Transcribe Audio to Text in 2019

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What is the best way to transcribe audio to text?

As the use of audio-visual content increases, so does the demand for its transcription. Despite the transcription of audio to text being a lengthy process with various formats, notoriously it is required fast, so what is the best method to use in 2019?

The use of machine-driven transcription is becoming more prevalent and it certainly offers the speed required when transcribing audio to text, but there are drawbacks. Consequently, the use of professional human transcribers is yet to dwindle. No doubt there is much value to be had using a human transcription service. Way with Words explores the advantages of each of these transcription methods.

Machine-driven speech to text technologies

Transcribe audio to text using machine technologies or AI and you are likely to have chosen the fastest option. But often this is at the expense of quality.

Anything other than a ‘clean audio’ and machine transcription will struggle; speakers with accents, background noise or just a generally poor-quality recording will lead to inaccuracies. Industries that frequently make the request to transcribe audio to text include those from the medical, research and legal sector. Inaccuracies in their transcription can lead to damaging wider effects.

Machine-learning is a hot topic right now and slowly, using NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) technology, machines are improving at language recognition, but ask it to make wider judgments, based on previous experience, and then take an action and the technology falters.
What impact does this have when needed to transcribe audio to text? There is a lack in flexibility.

Determining intelligent or full verbatim will be a struggle. Using judgement to segment information into a template – tricky.

Using humans to transcribe audio to text

Audio transcription is a hugely skilled job. It may sound straightforward to type what a person is saying, but for non-skilled transcribers it is a laborious process, with only a few minutes taking more than an hour.
The experience of professional transcribers, along with their use of audio enhancement software and file manipulation tools, means that they can work much faster. A professional transcriber can transcribe one hour’s audio to text in around three hours.

This may not be as speedy as machine-based transcription, but the accuracy is vastly improved. Way With Words ensures 99% accuracy in all its transcripts completed by human transcribers; an industry-recognised excellent standard.

Using services that offer human transcription also offers a great deal more flexibility in the presentation of the information.

Intelligent verbatim is frequently requested by clients procuring the service to transcribe audio to text. This means that any hesitations in speech, repetitions or determined off-topic conversation can be edited out. Having the intelligence to make these judgements is yet to be seen in AI technology.
Further flexibility can be offered in the formatting and use of bespoke templates. Transcribers can segment the transcribed audio into the relevant locations on the template. Often this does not create much additional work for the transcriber, but is a great benefit to the user, as data can be presented in a way that makes analysis much easier.

The conclusion

The use of machine-driven technology to transcribe audio to text can offer the benefit of speed, and this can often mean a lower price. But if this is at the expense of accuracy, the service ceases to be cost-effective. Transcripts can contain errors and at worse be unusable.

Pay a little more for a professional human transcription service and the transcripts will be of a much higher quality and offer the added benefits of flexibility that machines do not yet have the technology to provide.

Professional human transcription services know that they are in a race to stay competitive with AI and thus are implementing more responsive workflow systems to ensure they stay ahead. New processes adopted by Way with Words, for example, have led to improvements in their speed of delivery, more intuitive ordering, cleaner and more comprehensive accounts, and faster customer communication.

For more insights, read our article on the best ways to transcribe audio to text.