AI Transcription Services And Tools: How Can Artificial Intelligence Benefit You?

AI is a popular buzzword these days. Businesses from all over the world are announcing AI-powered this and AI-fueled that, seemingly to generate hype. The transcription industry is no exception; dozens of services now provide automated audio transcription that can transcribe anything from your dictations to your Google Meet recordings. However, is real-time AI transcription the future of the industry? 

The answer might surprise you. 

In this article, you’ll learn how: 

  • AI transcription means converting audio to text through speech recognition technology and services. 
  • Such services offer lightning-fast transcription, easier access, and easy integration with technology. 
  • Unfortunately, AI is only 86% accurate due to its limitations. With practice and experience, humans can reach more than 99% accuracy. 

What Is An AI Transcription Service?

An AI transcription service, also known as an automated speech recognition (ASR) service, is a provider that utilizes artificial intelligence technology to perform audio and video transcription for different industries. 

This process involves feeding or uploading the video or audio file into an AI platform or app. Or the audio is dictated directly to the program or device. The program or device then transcribes audio recordings using speech recognition. Depending on the process, the transcript is either used immediately or reviewed or edited manually by a transcriber or proofreader. 

To wrap up, AI-powered transcription automatically converts audio and video files without human intervention. 

What’s So Great About AI Transcription Tools?

Anyone not living under a rock knows that AI is the next big thing in tech. Anything plastered with “artificial intelligence” is bound to have some pull. 

Now, before we dive into the disadvantages (believe me, we have many), let’s talk about the perks. Artificial intelligence’s best and most prominent feature is its capability to learn. Here are some of the ways it can feed upon information:

Learning MethodDescription
Supervised LearningAI learns from labeled data, making predictions based on human input-output pairs.
Unsupervised LearningAI discovers patterns in unlabeled data without guidance, useful for tasks like clustering.
Reinforcement LearningAI learns through trial and error by interacting with an environment, aiming to maximize rewards.
Transfer LearningAI leverages knowledge from one task to improve performance on a related task, reducing data needs.
Online LearningAI learns continuously from incoming data streams, updating its model in real-time.
Data AugmentationAI artificially increases training data diversity by applying transformations like rotation.
Ensemble LearningAI combines predictions from multiple models for better performance, useful in classification.
Active LearningAI selects informative data points for labeling by humans, optimizing learning with relevant examples.
Meta-LearningAI learns to learn by acquiring knowledge about learning strategies, aiding adaptation to new tasks.

Now, knowing all that, let us talk about what AI transcription brings to the table. 

The Benefits Of AI Transcribers

Automated transcription certainly has some advantages over manual, i.e., human-powered transcription. Here they are: 

  • Transcription Speed: Audio-to-text transcription can be completed in a fraction of the time it takes a human transcriber to produce a transcript of the same length. It can be used for almost real-time transcripts.
  • Accessibility: Enhances accessibility by providing quick and affordable transcripts for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Its ease of access can also count as an accessibility feature.
  • Integration with Technology: AI transcription can be pre-integrated into other platforms, programs, and devices depending on the provider, platform, and device. Note the “pre” in pre-integrated.

Now, you’ll notice that this list isn’t as extensive as the ways how AI can learn. Furthermore, accuracy—one of the most critical aspects of transcription—is conspicuously absent. 

What’s Not So Great About Artificial Intelligence Transcription?

Recording and transcription have classically been done by people who learned the trade through years of practice and improvements. With its impressive learning capability, AI should be able to replicate a human’s training quickly. 

Yet, these programs still have issues transcribing to near-perfect accuracy. Let’s talk about why. 

A Look Back Into History

Speech recognition has existed in some form since the 1950s. It used to run on massive, room-sized computers—practically fossils by today’s standards. 

Given how much we’ve developed in terms of technology, transcription programs powered by AI should have improved. And it did. 

However, we need to consider how much it has improved. 

Several sources claim that speech recognition in the 90s and 00s was about 80%

Twenty-plus years later, we’re at a whopping… 86%. 

What gives? We’ve already gone through mobile phones looking like bulky melee weapons to devices a bit bigger than our splayed hands. We’ve managed to shrink technology down while increasing its computing power, so much so that we carry around computers in our pockets that are a thousand times more powerful than the one that brought us to the moon. 

So why do we only have a 6% bump in transcription accuracy? 

The Nuances of Human Speech

The answer is simple: human speech is difficult to understand. 

Think back on the last time you talked to someone. Your conversation included verbal and nonverbal speech. Aside from that, there may have been hidden nuances in your talks—things that are not stated outright yet are communicated nonetheless. 

Now, think back on how you understood the levels of the conversation. Did you think through it logically, or did it… happen automatically?

Human speech is an incredibly nuanced affair, and it takes us a long time to understand it on an instinctual level. 

Unfortunately, AI does not have an instinct. Therefore, it is at the mercy of the concepts we take for granted, like figures of speech, nuance, and contextual understanding. 

So far, we haven’t found a way to train AI to recognize these things, not like the way we do. That’s why AI transcription suffers from inaccuracy. 

Other Issues With AI Transcription

AI transcription also suffers from even more issues, such as: 

ConcernDescription
Privacy ConcernsThere are concerns about data privacy and security when using AI transcription services, especially if the data is stored or processed by third-party providers.
CostsThere are still costs associated with using AI tools, especially for high volumes of transcription or premium accuracy levels.
Lack of Human TouchAI transcription lacks the human touch that manual transcription services can provide. Humans can understand nuances, accents, and context better than AI.
Technical LimitationsAI transcription systems may struggle with certain audio qualities, such as low-quality recordings, multiple speakers talking over each other, or background noise.
Training BiasAI models are trained on data, and if the training data is biased or unrepresentative, it can lead to biased transcriptions.
Limited Languages and DialectsAI transcription might not support all languages or dialects equally well. Some languages or dialects may have fewer resources dedicated to training AI models.
Loss of NuanceAI transcription might miss out on subtle nuances, emotions, or non-verbal cues present in human speech, which can be crucial for accurate transcription in certain contexts.
Dependency on Connectivity and InfrastructureAI transcription services often require an internet connection and access to computing infrastructure.

So What Is AI Transcription Good For?

I’m not completely discounting AI transcription, as it does have some uses. Here are some of them: 

  • Casual transcription projects like personal phone calls
  • Automated captioning and subtitles for personal social media posts
  • Identifying action items in a quick meeting
  • Dictating personal notes

The important part to take away from this discussion is that AI is unsuitable for professional settings like legal, medical, academic, business, and general transcription. These industries require accuracy and attention to detail that no automated transcription program can provide. 

The Benefits Of Ditto’s Human Transcription

Ditto offers 100% human transcription—no AI, no automated tools, no soulless machines listening to your recordings and spitting out inaccurate transcripts by the boatloads. 

We’re a professional transcription company, so we won’t settle with giving our clients the bare minimum. Sign up for our services and enjoy the following perks: 

  • 100% human transcription: Ditto’s human transcription—from initial checks to final edits—allows for the highest possible accuracy guarantee. 
  • U.S.-based Transcribers: We only work with native English speakers to ensure quality, comprehension, and accuracy. Not only that, we also offer—
  • Certified Transcripts: Any transcripts involved in litigation can be certified—an extra layer of protection. 
  • No long-term contracts: We operate on a pay-as-you-go option; give us as much or as little work as possible without paying through the nose. 
  • Fast turnaround times: To ensure your workflow runs smoothly, you’ll get your transcripts in as little as 24 hours.
  • Different pricing options: We offer rush jobs or economical rates for longer turnaround times to match different budgets. 
  • Free trial: We stand behind everything we say and do, yet you don’t just have to take our word for it. Take us out for a test drive and see the difference. 

Transcribed By Humans, For Humans

We understand the importance of accurate transcription. That’s why—despite the trends—we do things the manual way. 

You don’t need to settle for inaccurate automatic solutions to transcribe your audio. Increase your productivity while keeping things cost-effective with Ditto’s transcription services. 

Need anything else? We also offer document-to-document conversion and translation from different languages. Call us to learn more. 

Ditto Transcripts is a Denver, Colorado-based FINRA, HIPAA, and CJIS-compliant transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

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