AI VS Human Transcription – Who Comes Out on Top?

When it comes to transcription, technology has meant that our craft has been subject to constant evolution. In the digitised world, our dependence on automation and AI is increasing considerably, and transcription is no exception.

While the reliance on automated transcription software and speech recognition technology is heavy, the effectiveness and quality of the transcripts are more often than not, questionable. 

Since aspects like dialects, tone, slangs, idioms and other human nuances cannot be recognised by AI transcription, there’s a noticeable difference in the success rate between AI and human transcription, with the latter being higher.

That said, while the developments of technology and AI cannot be underestimated, it still has a long way to go in terms of accuracy. 

In the debate between AI vs human transcription, human transcription is always the better choice, with a much higher chance of an error-free transcript.

At Alphabet, we’ve put together a list of reasons why human transcription comes out on top when compared to AI transcription.

Without further ado, let’s take a look.

1. Better Comprehension of Accents And Dialects

A professional transcriptionist will typically have years of in-person experience, making it easier for them to grasp different accents and dialects

When it comes to machines and automated transcription software, the technology is not advanced enough to fully comprehend different talking styles; although the technology is developing, it still has a long way to go.

For a transcriptionist, understanding accents that are unfamiliar to them is comparatively easier, as they can do some independent research to find the right words. However, AI won’t be able to provide the same results; there’s a possibility that words will be mistranslated due to an accent or dialect and result in a transcript with errors. These errors can range from the slightly inconvenient, to the catastrophic.

2. Knowledge of Industry-Specific Terminologies

For a comprehensive transcript, hiring a transcriptionist that has a better understanding of industry-specific terminologies and jargon is always a smart choice.

When you compare AI with Human transcriptions, a human is always better equipped in understanding different contexts, pronunciation and jargon, especially when you take into account experience and skill level. The refined and comprehensive transcript produced by a human will always be better than that of AI or automated software.

Moreover, with experience in different fields, a transcriptionist can easily understand jargon related to that industry to deliver accurate transcripts that are more technical.

Hands typing on laptop keyboard - Motion blur.

3. Exclusion of Filler Words And Other Unwanted Elements

Automated software like speech recognition technology has a literal approach; from side talks to background noises, all of these unwanted elements can be recorded in the transcript making it inaccurate.

Since speech to text technology relies on a verbatim transcription, it captures everything that is said including all noises and words that are said. Through this, the transcripts often are vague and confusing, thereby making them unknowingly complex. 

That said, a professional transcriptionist can always accurately identify what filler words need to be avoided or excluded from the transcript to provide you with better results. However, for an error-free transcript, good quality audio and video is always recommended so that the transcriptionist can rewind the file for a better understanding of the recording.

4. Fact-Checking and Clarity

There have been many instances where an audio or video file had statements that were off-topic or were simply unclear. With this, there may be a possibility of incomplete sentences which can prove to be a problem during transcription.

In such cases, a transcriptionist can rely on research to find out the missing links and make the sentence coherent for the transcript. However, AI won’t be able to do the same with accuracy, possibly resulting in major errors in the transcript.

Additionally, a seasoned professional can make sense of the incomplete sentences with a solid level of accuracy due to their vast knowledge and experience, something that an automated AI does not have the capability to do or comprehend.

When it comes to fact-checking and clarity, relying on human transcription is always a better choice to get good results.

Artificial intelligence versus human transcripts

5. Accurate Identification of The Number Of Speakers

Automated transcription software is not equipped to correctly identify the number of people in the recording, which can lead to a confusing transcript. However, a human transcriptionist can correctly identify the number of speakers and create a comprehensive transcript.

There are many cases of multiple speakers present in the audio or video recording, due to which a phrase may be repeated several times. With automated transcription software, this repetition will be recorded leading to redundant content. Human transcriptionists can correctly identify the speakers by going over the recording to pick the required content amidst the jargon and fillers.

This means that only through human transcription, you will get actual value in the form of a well-translated transcription that is accurate and error-free.

Contact Alphabet For Bespoke Transcription Services

Our human factor allows us to provide you with better and accurate transcription results, meaning a machine is no match for our seasoned transcription services.

That said, at Alphabet, you can expect us to deliver bespoke and quality transcriptions for you. From academic transcription to legal transcription – we cover many different industries making us one of the leading professionals in our fields.

To find out more about our transcription services, contact us here.