Transcription as a service is a long established requirement across a variety of employment sectors addressing the need for written records of important events. Transforming audio materials into text has become easier as technological advancements have taken place, firstly with the advent of voice recording equipment and more recently with the continuing development of voice recognition software. However, is voice recognition software enough for transcription?
Advantages of Voice Recognition Software
Voice recognition software can increase transcription productivity rate simply through its ability to recognise words and reproduce them as text at a faster rate than possible by a human. Going hand in hand with the increased productivity is the possibility for increasing cost effectiveness.
Disadvantages of Voice Recognition Software
Although there are advantages to using voice recognition software, there are limitations which throw into question whether the software on its own is enough for transcription purposes.
Recognising new voices
One such limitation involves the introduction of each new voice. In each case, the software needs time to adjust to the accent and intonations. In some instances, software needs to be “trained” to recognise each voice.
In a silent situation, the software performs at its most accurate, however, any background noise can cause errors. An increase in background noise can result in an increase in errors. How easy is it to achieve background silence in an audio recording?
Proximity to the microphone
To achieve optimal performance, the microphone needs to be within close proximity to the voice being recorded. Again, this is not always logistically possible but as the distance from the microphone increases, so can the errors.
Accent and dialect
Voice recognition software has a limitation on the vocabulary it can recognise. Consider this in respect of the wide range of accents (pronunciation of words) coupled with different dialects (location variants of the same words) and the room for error becomes immediately apparent.
More than voice recognition software.
For transcription purposes then, while there are advantages to using voice recognition software, the limitations demand that the completed text be proofread and possibly edited by a professional to eliminate potential errors. In the case of strong accents and dialects, it is likely that the professional will need to be native to the area in order to ensure the final text is void of all errors.