Pros and Cons of AI Transcription Software

Pros and Cons of AI Transcription Software

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a crucial part of many aspects of our lives, including B2B services like transcription. Transcription is essential for a variety of fields such as academic research, legal documentation, business communications, and more. The idea of AI transcription is appealing because of its potential to speed up the transcription process significantly. Instead of taking hours or days, AI can turn audio into text in a fraction of the time.

However, as we are still in the early stages of using AI for transcription, it’s become clear after talking to many frustrated clients that human oversight remains necessary as AI transcription continues to fall short. The expertise and attention to detail that a human brings to transcription are unmatched by current AI technology. Transcription is not just about converting speech to text; it’s about understanding the context, nuances, and subtleties of the conversation.

AI transcription at first glance seems attractive as it offers promising benefits such as faster turnaround times and cheap pricing. However there are many challenges, including concerns about accuracy, the ability to handle diverse accents and dialects, and maintaining the quality of the transcribed text. In this article, we are going to explore the Pros and Cons of AI Transcription further. The aim here is to provide a clear and fair picture of where AI can help and where human transcriptionists continue to play an indispensable role

What is AI transcription and how does it work?

Voice recognition software and AI transcription uses advanced technology to convert audio or video files into text format in a fast and efficient process. There are different types of AI transcription software on the market, but essentially the process works in the following way: 

‘Listening’ to the file”

 The software will ‘listen’ to the audio or video file and convert it into a digital signal 

‘Reads’ the signal

 Next, it will read the digital signal and translate it into text 

Formats the text

The Importance of Corporate Transcription As A Service

Corporate transcription is not limited to just basic record-keeping; it plays a crucial role in achieving operational excellence in the business world. This crucial service supports several aspects of corporate operations, ranging from ensuring legal conformity to improving accessibility, and plays a major role in knowledge management within organisations.

Adherence to legal requirements and the creation of necessary documents for numerous businesses, particularly those operating in heavily regulated sectors such as law, banking, and healthcare, ensuring precise documentation is not only an internal policy but also a legal obligation. Transcribed records of meetings, agreements, and interactions with clients function as a concrete means of guaranteeing compliance, enabling organisations to fulfil legal obligations and adhere to established criteria. Law companies rely heavily on precise transcriptions of legal procedures, depositions, and client consultations to effectively prepare for cases and conduct legal reviews. These transcriptions serve as reliable records that are crucial in litigation and legal analyses.

Advantages of AI Transcription

Efficiency and Speed

AI transcription significantly outpaces human capabilities in converting speech to text. An hour-long audio file will take a human transcriber longer whereas an AI will complete the transcription in a fraction of the same time. Everyone loves a fast turnaround but what if the quality isn’t there?

24/7 Access & Runtime

Another advantage of AI is its ability to operate around the clock without the need for breaks or rest. This capacity makes AI transcription an invaluable asset for handling large volumes of data quickly, especially in fields such as healthcare and customer service, where the demand for transcription services can fluctuate massively.

Disadvantages of AI Transcription 

Quality and Accuracy Concerns

Despite advancements, AI transcription can stumble over complex audio scenarios, such as background noise, multiple speakers, or fast speakers. This limitation can result in transcripts that require significant post-processing, undermining the initial benefit of a “faster” service. For instance, in legal or medical transcriptions, where precision is paramount, these inaccuracies are not acceptable and the quality checking that will need to take place by a specialist will mean that the fast AI service has now taken twice as long and drained valuable in-house resources.

Potential for Bias:

Algorithms are the foundation of any AI transcription software. This means it’s capabilities only stretch as far as the data they are trained on. This can lead to systemic biases that warp transcriptions in ways that might marginalise dialects or accents less present currently in the training data. We must remember AI is still in its infancy. Such biases not only compromise the integrity of the transcript but also raise ethical concerns about inclusivity and representation in AI technologies. For sectors like Legal AI just cannot produce transcriptions at the level of quality they need to be.

Loss of Nuance:

The scope of human speech is complex. Including tone, emotion, and implied meaning, often escapes the current capabilities of AI. Human transcribers on the other hand have no problem interpreting and understanding these nuances. This allows them to ensure that transcripts capture not just the words but the essence of the message. This dimension of transcription is crucial in fields like journalism and qualitative research, where the underlying emotions and subtleties can be as informative as the spoken words on there own.

Verbatim Transcription Limitations:

AI’s struggle with verbatim transcription is particularly evident when it comes to industry-specific jargon, cross-talk, and nuanced dialogue. Specialist human oversight is required to achieve the desired levels of accuracy. For example, in legal proceedings or academic research, where the exact wording and pauses can carry significant weight, AI’s limitations falls short which is why a human touch is needed to ensure fidelity to the original speech.

Ai transcription meets human transcription

Advantages of Human Transcription

Nuance and Contextual Understanding:

Humans possess an innate ability to interpret and understand contextual cues, accents, and specialised terminology. Especially if they are an experienced UK Transcriber that is part of the Alphabet Transcription team. This capability ensures transcriptions are not only accurate but also reflective of the intended message, preserving the speaker’s tone and intricacies. This human advantage is vital in literary transcriptions, cultural studies, and international relations, where understanding the context can alter the interpretation of the text.


The precision of a skilled human transcriber is largely unrivalled, particularly in scenarios that demand a high degree of accuracy. Professional transcribers bring years of experience and training, allowing them to handle complex audio with ease and deliver transcripts that are both accurate and faithful to the original recording. This level of accuracy is critical in fields such as law and medicine, where the stakes are high, and errors can have significant implications. AI’s accuracy falls short the majority of the time.

Confidentiality and Personalisation:

Human transcription services often offer a level of confidentiality and customisation unmatched by AI. Many services require non-disclosure agreements to protect sensitive information. At Alphabet Transcription we provide our clients peace of mind that confidential material is being handled with care. Additionally, human transcribers can tailor the formatting and presentation of transcripts to meet specific client needs, enhancing the utility and readability of the final document.

Disadvantages of Human Transcription

Time-Consuming Process:

There’s no way around it, human transcription takes time The meticulous nature of human transcription means that it takes considerably longer than AI methods. This time investment, however, ensures a level of detail and accuracy that automated systems currently cannot match, making it a worthwhile trade-off for projects where quality cannot be compromised. Our ethos at Alphabet is “right first time”. There will never be a need for a second line of quality checking when using our service.

Human Error:

Our accuracy is of utmost importance. While our transcriptionists strive for perfection, the possibility of errors remains. It’s unlikely but the reality is things can be missed. This risk is mitigated by employing experienced professionals and implementing rigorous quality control processes. Choosing a reputable transcription service that values accuracy and attention to detail can further reduce the likelihood of mistakes, ensuring that the final transcript meets the highest standards of quality. Lets not forget here that AI transcription accuracy statistics are far lower than a reputable transcription service.

Final Thoughts

AI has its place. We might be biased, but we genuinely believe that the current capabilities of AI transcription software cannot compete with experienced human transcriptionists. 

Of course, we shouldn’t be completely dismissive of AI within transcription services, and it can be of use as a time-saving method in certain cases and certain types of formats. However, the human touch is still the best way to go when choosing a transcription service you can trust, especially where you require accuracy. Maybe in the future, the quality of AI transcription will not fall short, but for now, there is no substitute for the human mind.

If you require a highly accurate transcription service then please contact our team today.


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