What is Speech Transcription?

Speech transcription refers to the formation of text or blocks of text from a video or a video segment. The very first speech recognition for computers was created in 1952. It was named Audrey and was only able to understand the digits that were spoken and could transcribe. About 10 years later IBM’s shoebox came into existence with recognizing around 16 English words.

There has been a long and efficient evolution in the field of Speech transcription and most certainly a very advanced one considering the growth of cloud computing and AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the modern world. Although it still lacks some very minute accuracy, they are performing something that one could not have anticipated previously. With various parameters interfering with the transcribing processes, technology has most certainly adapted to the problems and created solutions but cannot be solved entirely. Hence, we will be discussing why humans are still needed for AI speech transcription.

Let’s look at what is human transcription first.

Human Transcription

As the name might attest, human transcription refers to a human transcribing or listening to an audio, video, or any form of vocally pronounced words and forming them in the form of written text. Although it may be considered more accurate than speech transcription by AI or computers, errors can still occur as humans can tend to make mistakes by getting limited with the same parameters that are faced by the systems but can perform better.

There are generally 3 types of transcription:

Verbatim Transcription

This is the most direct and raw form of transcription that involves every single sound that has been recorded in the audio file including every single minute detail and does not make complete sense 100% of the time.

Intelligent Verbatim Transcription

This is more of a filtered form of the previous one where the transcriber makes sense of the incomplete sentences and filters out all the minute unnecessary details such as stuttering and tongue slips. Carried along with light editing improves the grammatical errors and gives the reader a better idea of what the audio file is trying to convey.

Edited Transcription

This is the most filtered and edited form of transcription with sentences connected to the context of the audio file and is eliminated from errors for the best clarity and readability.

AI Transcription

Using software or applications that have been programmed with the training of several hours of human transcriptions to upload an audio file and get the output in the form of text generated by AI or computers is known as AI transcriptions.

In recent years, this technology has proved itself to be very useful in various fields, especially among journalists, podcasters, news reporting, and students. The audio file is uploaded on the software or application and within seconds you can get the entire audio file presented in the form of text. This is especially very useful when you need urgent work or have clear audio with no more than 2 people speaking in the microphone at a time or there are not multiple languages involved in the transcribing.

The cons to AI transcription may involve that it may not be able to work if there are any background noises and is also limited to very few mainstream languages. Although human transcription may also be limited by this any local language speaker can overcome such obstacles and can provide you with the text form whereas AI can not.

So which one may provide the best results?

As of now, it is very difficult for the Ai to be transcribing multiple languages and filter out the various parameters and disturbances such as background noise or various accents from different parts of the world, or having multiple speakers in a single audio file. Such parameters lead to mistakes, whereas a human transcriber can provide better results as the human brain can filter out unnecessary background noises, different people can understand and transcribe different languages and understand the accent without any difficulty resulting in much more accurate and error-free results without needing any additional editing.

Although AI transcription may be cheaper and less time-consuming, with the amount of benefits that are being provided by a human transcriber is way more than AI and can make the cons of it almost neglectable. If you are however running low on time and may be on a budget you can most definitely opt for AI transcription if it’s any of the major languages or the languages that are listed on the software. Depending on different requirements and possibilities it may be subjective but with the pros and cons and statistically so far human transcribing is better than AI transcribing.