5 Common Myths About Automated Transcriptions

typing guy with earphones on

Automated transcriptions have certainly come a long way. A lot of advancements have been and are still effectively being done to the point that people no longer view it with skepticism; many people and organizations continue to find more uses for speech-to-text recognition beyond just transcription.

This can be mainly attributed to people’s perception of automated transcriptions as something that is reliably faster than manual transcription and can therefore lessen the need for time-consuming note-taking. There’s also the fact that automated transcriptions are cheaper compared to paying for a human transcriptionist.

While automated transcription is undoubtedly more efficient than manual human transcription, there are still some misconceptions about its capabilities.

Misconceptions about automated transcriptions include:

Myth 1: Audio-to-text converters can finish your transcription in seconds.

One of the most common misconceptions about automated transcripts is that it transcribes audio to text within seconds. This isn’t accurate since the speed of an automated transcription engine relies on a number of things such as the user’s upload speed and the length of the audio itself.

Fact: However, it is a fact that automated transcription is faster to use than human transcription services. An expert transcriptionist can finish transcribing 2 hours of crystal clear audio in 3-4 hours, while an automated audio-to-text converter can finish it in 2 hours.

Myth 2: Automated transcription is as accurate as human transcriptions.

Many speech-to-text or machine learning companies report vast improvements in automated speech-to-text accuracy. 

Fact: Even with the reported decrease in error rates, the accuracy of automated transcriptions is only 90% at best and lower if the audio or video recording has low clarity, noisy, or has distortions. It can also be difficult for an automated transcription engine to transcribe proper or complicated terminology (i.e. medical and scientific terms). On the other hand, even average human transcriptionists have an error rate of only 4%, can effectively discern multiple speakers, and transcribe punctuations as necessary. At the end of the day, it’s still best to have expert transcriptionists or editors take care of your transcripts for guaranteed accuracy.

Myth 3: Speech to text converters can distinguish speakers and include punctuations.

Fact: Unfortunately, unlike human transcriptionists, most automated transcription engines don’t have the ability to include all the necessary punctuations since distinguishing the difference in accents and pitches in speech is still a challenge.

Additionally, automated transcriptions cannot automatically identify the number of speakers in an audio file and therefore is unable to include speaker labels, unless prompted or with necessary human input.

Myth 4: Automated transcription is always the most secure transcription method.

Concern for data privacy and security is justifiably on the rise, and many individuals and organizations emphasize their need for solutions or services that can safeguard their information. 

Fact: While many believe that processing recordings using automated transcription software is more secure than handing it over to human transcriptionists, this isn’t always the case – not all automated transcription services or engines are hosted securely online. You must always exercise caution and due diligence before handing over your recordings or information for processing. Fortunately, there are automated transcription services that take proven security and privacy measures when handling your data – just make sure to do thorough research to find them!

Myth 5: Automated transcriptions are easy to edit or proof.

Fact: Since transcripts processed by audio-to-text converters often lack punctuations and speaker labels, it can get pretty cumbersome to listen to the entire recording and edit the transcripts – not to mention having to correct all the “unintelligibles” and misheard technical jargon or industry-specific terms.

In addition, you will also have to get used to the platform, and not many automated transcription platforms are intuitive for proofing or editing. With all these barriers in mind, you might think that editing may take less time than actually transcribing it – but it may very well be time-consuming after all the hoops you have to go through.

While automated transcription definitely has its advantages, it is still important to know its limits and use a transcription service that delivers the desired outcome. Automated transcription is still a pretty good choice when you just don’t have the time or skills to manually transcribe. And lastly, when it comes to files that contain complicated and sensitive information, it helps to have a service that can skillfully edit your automated transcriptions for you.