Posted on : July 21st 2021
Author : Sanjeev Kumar Jain
For several years, companies and academic institutions have depended solely on audio and video recordings to document their content. Transcription has proven to be beneficial wherever content is generated as it helps spread the word, both within and outside the organization.
While there are considerable benefits in audio and video transcription, there is more to it than meets the eye. It is an important time and money saving service for almost all organizations where content is generated. Transcription is incredibly accurate and helps streamline work and save time.
While transcription has been around for years and has become fairly mature, it is only recently that artificial intelligence (AI) made inroads into this industry. As we all know, transcription requires years of experience and practice to perfect. It also takes a lot of expertise to master the intricacies of various accents. Today, when technology has made inroads into all aspects of our life, transcription is still, to a large extent, a very human thing. Transcribers are human too, and are bound to make mistakes.
To improve efficiency and accuracy, companies have started using AI for their transcription. While the technology is almost there, it is still evolving and will take a while until it becomes perfect in every sense.
It is still too early to talk about who will do a better job with transcribing – humans or technology. Humans, however, continue to have the upper hand in understanding words. They can hear and transcribe even when the audio quality is bad or when there is too much background noise. On the other hand, technology struggles to understand the emotions behind spoken words or words spoken by others around the speaker.
Though the transcription industry has developed immensely, and technology has made it simple, there are still challenges to overcome. These include:
Selecting resources with the right skillset
Depending on the type of collateral and the language that needs to be transcribed, it can be challenging to find the right person to do the job. For example, a doctor or a person with knowledge of life sciences will be more suitable to transcribe medical science content. Similarly, someone with expertise in aerospace or aviation will be better suited to transcribe audio or video related to rocketry or aircraft. It is increasing becoming difficult to find the right domain specific skillsets. Another challenge lies in having the person stay dedicated and motivated until project completion.
The second challenge that people or companies face while transcribing audio and video is the source’s quality. So long as the input source quality is good, the output quality is also good. There could be times when the audio/video quality is bad with issues like overlapping speech, background noise, jargons, and mispronounced words. In these circumstances the quality of the transcription output would also take a back seat.
There is also the problem of quality or clarity of the speaker’s voice and different dialects and accents that severely impact transcription.
There are several kinds of transcription which need different levels of training and understanding. There are some general transcription which a person with some basic training can attempt and there are some important or high-end transcription for which training is required. Training costs time and money. There are several people who can translate speeches or board room meetings with ease because they understand the words and context, but training them to document scientific speeches costs time and money. Secondly, some companies insist on using proprietary tools to transcribe their work, which means training transcribers in using these new tools.
There are reasons why companies and academic institutions prefer to get their audios and videos transcribed. These could range from being search friendly to helping others understand the intention of the video and audio. Here are a few reasons why companies and academic institutions prefer to get their audios and videos transcribed.
Helps people in other countries (who speak another language) understand A company might have operations in several countries, and not all countries speak the same language. For example, a company with headquarters in Germany or Austria might conduct a boardroom meeting in German and would want to let their office or customers in other countries know about what happened in the meeting. Similarly a company based in the English speaking countries might want to inform their customers or employees in East Asia about the plan for the next business year. Transcribing the minutes of the meeting to the local language could be one of the easiest way to inform them.
Transcription helps everyone get a better understanding of what was said and the context or reason behind it.
Search engines don’t listen to audios or watch videos but they do word search. A transcribed video or audio can do wonders in terms of searches because there are words and keywords that are being used for searching by people. When you transcribe video or audio content, the search engines get more content to crawl. It also helps in improving user experience and gives more information to provide and link to.
No matter if you are running a big or small organization, you know the importance of having your word reach out to your customers, employees as well as to the shareholders. Whenever you have an important meeting, it is essential to have the talks transcribed as it goes a long way in making your voice heard and your text searchable, readable, and easily accessible.
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