Education How does automated transcription work?

Automated transcription has come a long way in the last few years. Whether you’re a podcaster, journalist, video editor, lawyer, student, or researcher, the need to convert audio or video to text is a part of your life. Transcribing audio and video, lightly put, is painful.

But now there is technology like Sonix that automates the entire process of transcription. Hence the term automated transcription.

 

 

What is transcription?

Transcription is the process of converting recorded speech into text. Transcription involves listening to a recording of something and typing the contents into a document. In many cases, this is an interview of some sort. It can take an inordinate amount of time to transcribe something especially if you are doing it manually.

 

What are the different kinds of transcription?

Manual transcription

The most traditional form of transcription is manual transcription. Manual transcription involves listening to audio or video files and then typing the words into a document. Many people choose this option because there is no associated cost. The cost equates to much an individual values their time.

Human transcription services

There are many human transcription services on the market but they can be slow and expensive. They are, however, more accurate than automated services. Human transcribers use technology to assist in the conversion of speech to text like a shorthand system. There are also a very small number of people like court reporters that can type in near real time. The accuracy of these transcripts is negatively affected because there is little to no time to correct mistakes as they occur.

In summary, human transcription has been around for decades, it isn’t the most efficient or effective way to convert audio or video to text.

Automated Transcription

Automated transcription, as the name suggests, is amazingly fast. While human transcription can take anywhere from 24 hours to 4 days, automated transcription can be completed in minutes. A 30-minute audio or video file can be transcribed in less than 5 minutes.
Another added benefit of automated transcription is security. No human ever sees the audio or video file, nor the transcript. It’s done entirely by machines. If the security of your files and transcripts is important to you, then automated transcription in many ways is better than human transcription.

Sonix uses the latest artificial intelligence and natural language processing techniques to derive the most accurate automated transcripts. Sonix has been independently reviewed as the most accurate automated service.

Once a file has been transcribed, you’ll receive an email notifying you that your transcript is ready. All the transcripts are centrally hosted in your Sonix account online for easy access. Just click on the link and you will see the time-coded transcript displayed in your browser. Because your transcript is online, Sonix stitches the audio to the text which makes it easy to edit your files. You can also easily search for keywords, share the file with another user, highlight and strike text, embed captions in video, and export in many different formats.

To be clear, automated transcription is not perfect. The technology continues to get with every day that passes, but there will undoubtedly be errors. And if your file is recorded in a loud environment, there are people talking over each other, or speakers aren’t articulating clearly, the resulting transcription will be negatively affected. On the other hand, with really clear, crisp audio, the accuracy of the transcript can be upwards of 95-98%.

Lastly, automated transcription is relatively inexpensive. While traditional human services can cost anywhere from $60 to $100 per hour of audio or video, automated transcription with Sonix is just $6 per hour with a subscription. The effective cost for those that transcribe regularly is substantially less.

 

What makes automated transcription possible?

Automated transcription is possible because of artificial intelligence and natural language processing. With each file that is uploaded to Sonix, each and every sound within that file analyzed and interpreted using artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

The next step is to match those sounds to words in our extensive and growing dictionary. Sonix works in different languages and varying English accents and continuously improves as more voice data is ingested into our systems.

There are four basic steps with automated transcription:

STEP 1

A user uploads an audio or video file and selects the appropriate language spoken (Sonix works in many languages and several different English accents).

STEP 2

Sonix then runs the file through its automated technology which combines artificial intelligence and natural language processing to derive accurate transcripts. Depending on the size of the file, this can take anywhere from 2 to 8 minutes.

STEP 3

When the file is complete a user will receive an email with a link that takes them to the online transcript.

STEP 4

With a browser-based transcript, users can easily edit problem areas.
 

The future of automated transcription

We are several years away from error-free automated transcription, but the technology continues to improve day after day. As more and more people turn to automated transcription, more voice data is collected and analyzed. The result is improved speech-to-text algorithms and more accurate transcripts.

In the meantime, there are many ways to get the most out of automated transcription in its current state. Most of that requires users to capture high quality audio and video. Reducing background noise, multiple speakers talking over each other, and swallowed words can greatly increase the accuracy of automated transcription.

 

New to Sonix? Click here for 30 free transcription minutes!

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