Automated transcription

Automated transcription

Think of transcription and you probably think of Ms Moneypenny sitting in her office on a 60s typewriter… Weirdly we’ve seen a marked uplift in audio typing from a new kind of client – ones who work virtually!  So auotmated transcription, converting speech to text automatically is a very modern take on a traditional skill.

Quick, affordable audio typing is needed for transcribing:

  • closed captions on YouTube videos

  • subtitles on marketing videos for Facebook Adverts

  • property inspection reports for lettings agents or surveyors

  • journalist interviews with tight deadlines

  • Minute taking for Zoom meetings

  • industrial tribunals or disciplinary interviews

Do the automated ones work?

We really want them to – but invariably we get called in to sort out some real bloopers created by them. For us, it would mean we could process many more hours of audio each day – we’d do the automated transcription programme then copy/paste it into the client’s chosen format and proofread it.  A clear 20 minute tape usually takes about an hour to transcribe and check – this software in theory means we could cut that down to 20 minutes – a huge saving for our clients, and enabling us to take on much bigger more lucrative contracts. However:

The Pitfalls of Speech to Text Automated Transcription

  1. No accents: They are designed to work on standardised American accents. Any kind of regional accent seems to throw them.

  2. No formatting: They aren’t capable of sorting instructions from the text – so if the person dictating says “Add a colon” or “New line”, that’s what it will type. As yet, they can’t cope with typing into any kind of template, so if your output needs to be on numbered pages or in sections of a formatted report, it will need an admin person to cut and paste the text into them.

  3. Scary typos: We’ve had some really horrible ones ranging from properties being banished to Siberia to late paying clients being executed! Any work done on automatic dictation software needs carefully proofed.

Just for fun, we thought we’d put a few of the latest ones through their paces…,, and Youtube all got tested. I did it using standard phrases which our clients often use and my own (fairly neutral) UK accent.  Let’s just say, we had a giggle and are definitely not quivering in our boots!

We also know it’s more secure than having someone in the office typing up a disciplinary hearing or uploading to an unknown and unsecured network.  All our typists are UK based and have signed strict confidentiality contracts to ensure your privacy.

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