With the fast pace of modern life and the globalization of business, there has been a growing demand for transcription services for some time now. So much so that traditional methods have been challenged by automated software in the quest to produce quick results while attempting to maintain high standards. While a good number of business have placed their faith in automated software, most are reluctant to use them when quality is a priority. With a number of top-quality transcribing companies in Toronto still doing well, it looks like manual and automated services will have to battle it out for quite some time to come.
What’s the Difference Between Automated Software and Transcribing Companies in Toronto?
Rather than being entirely direct competitors, automated software and transcribing companies in Toronto tend to market themselves to slightly different markets, albeit with some overlap. When it comes to turnaround speed and cost savings, it’s pretty hard to beat automated software – you pay once for the program up front, and it works whenever you need it. The main challenge it faces, however, is in terms of quality results. Despite all our technological advances and utilization of mass data, automated transcriptions can still produce unwanted results, and that can be a major problem when used in business or legal, medical and other fields. The main advantages that transcribing companies in Toronto have include:
People Deal with Accents Better than Software – Once a professional transcriber has identified a speaker’s accent, they can work within known parameters to establish what is being said. For example, a British speaker talking about the best route, might be confused by software as an American speaker talking about the best root. When we consider the range of accents in English alone – from South African to Scots, it’s no wonder that professional transcribers produce more accurate results than software.
Software Struggles to Contextualize Speech – When asked to transcribe an isolated sentence, both humans and computers may struggle to recognize the difference. For example, the difference in meaning between ‘the sail of a boat’ and ‘the sale of a boat’. Humans, however, are naturally able to determine which word is used once it is put in context. This is still a major challenge for automated software, which merely attempts to transcribe without any understanding of the context.
Human Transcribers can Take Account of Other Factors – Most professional transcribers are adept at taking into account changes in the sounds of words when someone has a cold or a speech impediment. Furthermore, we can easily recognize a cough, sneeze and language fillers, such as ‘ah’, ‘um’, ‘eh?’ and so on. Automated software often attempts to match such sounds to words, giving an inaccurate representation of what was said.
All of this doesn’t mean that automated software isn’t fit for purpose – if you need general approximations of what was said, you need them quickly and you don’t have a lot of money, it could work for you. If however, you value accuracy and readability, you really need to make use of professional transcribing services.