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AI Transcription Versus Human Transcription in 2023

AI, or artificial intelligence, is all the talk on social media these days. With technological advancements, AI can perform tasks like humans. Unfortunately, transcription is not one of those tasks. Despite advances in voice-to-text technology over the years, AI cannot replace a human transcriptionist.

Transcription, the process of converting spoken words into written text, is critical for many industries, such as legal, medical, and law enforcement. In these industries, accuracy is of the utmost importance, as errors in transcription can have life-threatening consequences. For example, a transcription error can lead to a patient receiving the wrong treatment or medication in the medical field. In addition, a transcription error can lead to a mistrial or wrongful conviction in the legal area. And in law enforcement, a transcription error can lead to the wrong person being arrested or charged.

While AI may have a long way to go to achieve the accuracy level of humans, improvements have been made. For example, Fireflies AI reports a 90% accuracy rate, while Rev.ai carved out 84%. Together they are transforming this technology into a more precise tool for businesses worldwide.

Human transcriptionists can have an accuracy rate of up to 99%, as in Ben Walker’s human transcription company, Ditto Transcripts. Walker pointed out one critical difference between human transcriptionists and AI is that “humans understand the context and can pinpoint a voice when multiple people are speaking over one another. AI and software often get confused with which person is speaking and will make reckless guesses when it comes to homonyms and words that sound alike.”

Human transcriptionists are more accurate and reliable than AI because they can understand human speech’s nuances. For example, human transcriptionists can distinguish between different accents, dialects, and speaking styles, which AI still can’t do. Additionally, human transcriptionists can pick up on context and meaning, which is essential for understanding a verbal message’s overall purpose.

Another reason human transcriptionists are more reliable than AI is because they can catch errors and mistakes that AI may miss. As a result, human transcriptionists can review the text and make corrections as needed, ensuring that the final product is accurate and error-free. Conversely, AI may need help to catch errors and mistakes, which can lead to inaccuracies in their transcription.

AI also needs to gain the ability to understand the nuances of grammar, punctuation, and formatting. For example, it does not know when commas should be used, how new paragraphs should be formatted, which items need to be numbered or indented, or which style to use for a particular document. This lack of knowledge is especially apparent in legal documents requiring precise language and formatting. For example, one of our police departments uses eight different formats for search warrants, a task that AI could only do with extensive assistance from a human editor. 

AI transcription can still be a good option when you need a rough draft of a verbal message; human transcriptionists are the way to go for a polished, accurate, and grammatically correct draft.

In conclusion, while AI can perform specific tasks almost as well as humans, says ZDNet, transcription is yet to be one of them. The accuracy and reliability of human transcriptionists are critical for many industries. Until AI can understand the nuances of human speech and catch errors and mistakes, human transcriptionists will continue to be the go-to choice for accurate and reliable transcription services.

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