Voice-to-text Clean-up: Tips on How to Properly Edit Your Machine Transcription

April 25, 2019

Voice-to-text Clean-up: Tips on How to Properly Edit Your Machine Transcription

Artificial intelligence (AI) has paved its way to everyone’s day-to-day activities. From healthcare, to entertainment, and to the automotive industry, companies from all over the globe have developed an AI-driven route to steer their businesses forward. Ultimately, transcriptions is no exception in this technological development, with more and more machine transcription services becoming available in this modern day and age.

With its promise to produce files in a matter of minutes, automated voice-to-text applications are perfect for those that archive large volumes of recorded meetings and conferences on a regular basis. However, this feature is still on its way to becoming the perfect option for file documentation. Its fast turnaround time comes with a price to pay – its accuracy. To date, improvements for AI transcriptions targeting precision are still in the works to achieve that client-ready level on quality. Until it hits the 100% mark, human touch is vital to check the document’s usability as a whole.

Much like translating audio recordings to written words, editing automated voice-to-text archives require huge chunks of time and effort. Now, if you ever have to deal with a machine-generated transcript, here is a quick guide on how to properly proofread one:

  1. Use a transcription software when editing. This will save you the trouble of opening and closing your default music player when you need to play or pause the file’s recording. ExpressScribe is one transcription software that allows the use of hotkeys. With this, you are free to set standard recording commands, such as play, pause, rewind, fast forward, among many others, to keys of your liking. If these don’t work for you, fret not because the application is compatible with foot pedals as well.
  2. Check the format. Before going on full-blown editorial mode, take the time to set the finished AI transcript’s font style and size. Tweaking the look of the document may contribute to better and faster editing. With everything already set uniformly, spotting little mistakes such as spelling and grammar errors may become easier. Moreover, take this time to set the indents and margins to polish the file’s overall look.
  3. Be thorough. Just because the transcript is pre-done doesn’t mean proofreading it should be taken lightly. As previously mentioned, developments on machine transcript production are still in progress in order to hit that high accuracy rating. Studies have shown that some speech recognition software may peak precision up to 84%. With that said, take the time to go through each sentence to check if the AI option was able to capture the words correctly. Be sure to also review the terms mentioned in the recording, its spelling, as well as the punctuation and grammar used in the file. As much as we would like to put all our faith and energy in today’s technologies, machine-generated transcripts still require a human touch in case there are some missed words or phrases in the document. Correcting mishears, too, can be quite a challenge for AI-produced files, especially if the recording is muffled or if there are too many speakers talking over each other.
  4. Rewind and double check. When you are striving for a clean and flawless transcript, it never hurts to go over the document once more to check for any more errors. Rewind the recording back to the very beginning and reread your proofed work. Catch any more possible mishears and spelling errors, and research those proper nouns stated in the recording again just to make sure you got the right word. In short, dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Then, don’t forget to hit save.

Currently, either for market research purposes or just company-wide records, machine-generated transcripts show a lot of potential that could make archiving faster and easy-breezy. With today’s rapid technological advancements, it wouldn’t be long until AI becomes the main resource for transcription services.

However, it might still take a while for everyone to heavily or solely depend on it. Did you know that human transcription consistently leads AI transcription when it comes to accuracy? In 2019, human transcriptions had an error rate of about 4%, while AI transcriptions had 12%. Now in 2020, new reports claim that the average word error rate of human transcription is 0.04–0.09%. AI transcriptions, on the other hand, particularly Google and Amazon, have an error rate of 0.085-0.088%. Though AI transcription has improved over the years, human transcriptions never lost its edge. 

Until AI becomes the best in accuracy, cleaning up voice-to-text transcripts is the way to save a file’s quality. In archiving, much like many other things, it’s all and always about quality over quantity, and accuracy over speed.

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