Manual vs. Automated Transcription: Does It Make A Difference?

Although the typical speech recognition technology has reportedly improved quite considerably, it is still known to be no match for what a human transcriptionist is capable of achieving when it comes to accuracy. Using speech recognition or transcription software is a commercially available option that, on average, still has an error rate of around 12% while doing automated transcription on certain phone conversations.

There are two different questions regarding the use of a transcription tool:

  1. Is now the right time to fully embrace the new automated transcription?

  2. Is manual transcription still considered the best option when it boils down to industry-specific needs in transcription?

Automated transcription

Automated transcription is basically a process in which an audio or video file is then converted directly into text format through using a transcription tool or voice and speech recognition tool. Just like most of the AI streams, using artificial intelligence to transcribe still works in exactly the same way and this is by training some specific software using large quantities of high-quality datasets or examples.

With more and more datasets being fed into the transcription software, it will then gain even more experience and be capable of building much better algorithms. When it boils down to the current state of certain AI application within transcription work, some of the said largest as well as smartest AI companies like Microsoft, Google, and even IBM, have reportedly spent a number of years just to improve the whole speech-to-text transcription tool in order to provide automated transcription. However, they have only reportedly been able to achieve just 88% accuracy at their best.

Automated transcription downside

There is, however, a downside with using an artificial intelligence transcription tool and this is that it still does not recognize the whole language context. Therefore, the given transcribed content will still be bound to certain errors. Aside from this, the tool can reportedly also have a hard time catching certain words from those speakers talking in heavy accents. Here are a few of the most popular transcription tool flaws.

Transcription tool flaws:

  1. Artificial intelligence still struggles to detect whether there are different speakers. This happens especially if the discussion itself is fast and between a number of speakers.

  2. The software might mix up certain names of places and people

  3. The words that are not in English would be difficult for the automated transcription software to be able to spell out correctly.

  4. Functionality is still a major problem with the said artificial intelligence transcription tools as a number of them still lack the whole in-built capability of being able to discern context.

Due to these flaws, when using a transcription tool or transcription software, it is still very important to proofread the final outcome and edit the mistakes before rolling it out.

Is it better to use a transcription tool?

This really depends on the transcriptionist or the person needing to transcribe something. If the transcription needed is very short, it might be a waste of time having to adjust to the transcription tool or transcription software for automated transcription. However, if the transcription needed is quite long, it might be worth looking for solutions to get faster results.

Manual transcription

While manual transcription is still widely popular since a number of people (transcriptionists included) haven’t adjusted to automated transcription yet. Although this makes things a bit harder, this is the way things have been done back then and might be the more comfortable (but also more draining) way of getting a transcribe of an audio or video.

Benefits of a transcription tool

There are a lot of benefits that come from using transcription software to get an automated transcription. These benefits are extremely useful for full-time transcriptionists that have loads and loads of audio or video files that need to be converted. While it might still take some time to get a transcription done, using a transcription tool significantly cuts everything down.

1. Automated transcription

When it comes to automated transcription, getting a really fast text script will allow the transcriptionist to skim everything first before knowing which parts need to be edited. This drastically saves time and effort when it comes to making the whole transcription as only a few words within a sentence would need to be changed (this depends on the audio quality, speaker pronunciation, and etc.).

2. Editing in-app

Pausing the audio, playing the audio, typing the transcription, editing the transcription, and a whole lot of other things that need to be done can be really time-consuming especially if you are not using a single platform. In-app editing allows the transcriptionist to focus on making the transcription without having to click this and click then going back and forth.

3. Speaker differentiation

Being able to automatically cut from speaker to speaker is very important and also saves time especially when transcribing certain interviews or discussions from the audio or video. Being able to tell the difference and automatically putting it into text will save the transcriptionist loads of time with edits.

4. Automatic timestamps

When a client requests timestamps, normally, a transcriptionist would have to do this manually, however, with automatic timestamps, the transcriptionist or user can easily indicate how they want it (speaker change, every minute, every 30 seconds, and etc.).

While some transcription tools only have a few of these features, other transcription tools have most of them or even all of them on a single platform. The right transcription software is already out there and hosts more features than the four mentioned above. Finding the right transcription tool is very important especially for those that want to become a professional transcriptionist and earn more by doing more transcriptions at the same time. Automated transcription is the game of the future and it is important to get ahead while you can.

Are you up for automated transcription? Try Aside from offering automated transcription, Izitext is loaded with great features that greatly simplify the entire transcription process. With Izitext, you won't regret your choice.

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