While it is true machines are generally cheaper than a transcription service, and they are quicker, what they are not, is accurate.
They will give you a rough idea of what was said, but you could probably have got that from your memory, saving all the money you spent on the software.
The end result of an automated transcription will not be a perfectly documented version of your conversation or meeting. A machine replaces a secretary sitting in on the meeting and taking notes, rather than a full transcription service such as London Transcription.
The machine cannot, and does not, distinguish regional accents well, never mind foreign accents, so words can be misinterpreted.Even perfectly spoken English by a native, with no discernible accent, will have some ‘odd’ interpretations of what was said.
Machines cannot judge or imply “inference”… or “context”, (they could not find the inverted commas here, or the pause). Humans are able to distinguish these things and add them to the transcription. This offers the client a realistic view of what was said, but sometimes more importantly, how it was said.
Software is not able to differentiate between different speakers and therefore it cannot assign to each person what they said. It does not correctly use punctuation marks or paragraph breaks and you will often find words left out.
Here are simple statistics which say it all – even the top automatic transcription software only claims around 70% accuracy. Humans average over 95%. That difference could cost lives, someone’s job or a lot of money.
Humans can’t be ‘hacked’, so your data is safe, and you will be covered by an NDA.
Many fields are considered high stakes; medical files, scientific data, legal documents and contracts. These are undoubtedly better done by a human as mistakes could be too costly, in many ways.
Do you really want a machine telling you what it ‘thinks’ the doctor said about your serious illness, or would you prefer a written email/letter saying EXACTLY what the doctor said?
Hire a transcribing firm for a correct and perfect copy, that is presentable to clients, or as a record for your files.
All in all, the only practical way to go is a human transcribe. It is cheaper in the long run.