Human vs Machine Transcription
In terms of transcription services, there are various different types of services in which you can use. You can choose to have your files transcribed by either a human or a machine. There are pros and cons as to why you should and should not use both of these services but it is mostly going to depend on what you prioritize when you require a transcription service.
What Is a Machine Transcription Service?
As the name states, a machine transcription service is a transcription service that is carried out by a machine as opposed to a human. The machine uses software development that processes audio and videos into text files. This is an automated service that is often quicker and cheaper than using a human transcriber especially if you want to transcribe in bulk. Also due to the machines’ use of software, it eliminates the need for lots of human training.
However, the results are not always as accurate as if you were to use a human transcription service for a number of reasons. This means if you decide to look into using a machine-based transcription service, you should take into consideration the fact that you might have to take time to check the level of accuracy.
What Problems Do Transcription Machines Encounter?
One of the main issues a machine has when it comes to transcribing a piece of audio or a video is that lower-quality audio will have an effect on the final outcome. For example, if there is any background noise present, the machine can not separate this from the speech. This results in the machine attempting to transcribe the background noise as well as the speech. Humans on the other hand can differentiate the background noise from the speech.
Some machines are also not programmed to be able to transcribe different accents. This causes a problem when it comes to a machine understanding people from different places where their accents differ from others. This means that if someone’s accent within the audio affects the way in which they might pronounce a word, the machine may spell the word incorrectly. In some cases, it is possible to train these machines to be able to understand different accents.
As well as accents, machine transcription services are not always able to notice more than one person speaking. If there are multiple people talking in the audio the machine may get overwhelmed, causing it not to notice the change in voice. This will result in the transcribed text appearing as if it was spoken by one individual. Another issue that occurs with machine transcription services is that they do not understand homonyms, a word that is said the same way as another but is spelled differently and carries a different meaning. This can lead to words being used in incorrect contexts and being misspelled. Human transcribers are able to follow along with the conversation and are able to apply the correctly spelled word within the correct context.
Why Should You Consider a Human Transcription Service?
Overall human transcription services are going to give you the most accurate result. A fully trained human transcriber will be able to assure that your audio or video file is transcribed to the highest standard, and grammatically correct. This includes any punctuation and slang words that a machine transcription service might not pick up on or understand. The level of accuracy is especially important in industries such as legal, medical, and insurance as well as small and large businesses for issues relating to disciplinary meetings and development training. Human transcribers also have experience, as well as emotional intelligence, which allows them to transcribe speech that reads in the correct way as a piece of text. As well as this the human mind is used to filtering out when people stutter, stumble on their words, pause for breath, and cough. A machine transcription service would pick up on each one of these things and transcribe these.
What Should You Consider When Looking Into Human Transcription Services?
One of the main things you would want to consider when looking into human transcription services, which does not apply when it comes to machine transcription services, is whether or not it is based in the UK. UK transcription services offer the best privacy policies as the files remain in the UK, under its legal system. An offshore transcription service may still use humans, but these people are often located in various parts of the world. This means you do not know who is transcribing your files, and how fluent in the English language they are. This may also affect the level of accuracy you will get, as well as the risk of your files being leaked.
To receive the most accurate outcome it is best to opt for a human transcription service as opposed to a machine-based transcription service. The higher cost and more time a human spends doing the transcription process will result in your audio or video is transcribed to a better standard. This is mostly due to the fact that humans are able to differentiate between different voices, tell the difference between background noise and speech as well as using the correct spellings of words in the correct context. However, it is still best to research human transcription services to find out if they work solely in the UK. As well as, checking their security credentials and certifications. These are types of reassurance that you do not always get when you use a machine transcription service.