How Accurate is Voice Recognition Software for Audio Transcription?

professional new york transcription service companyWe have been asked on more than one occasion why our Syracuse, New York Transcription Service Center can’t use voice recognition software.  The answer is simply that even the best Voice Recognition Software (VRS) can’t produce the level of transcription service accuracy that our customers require.

Accurate Transcription: What Is It?

In the world of audio transcription, accuracy is virtually the only thing that counts.  Some years ago, a restaurant reviewer for a local newspaper decided to review an independently owned, family operated donut shop in upstate New York.  His takeaway comment was, “if you are only basically selling two products, they both have to be good.”  The same is true with audio transcription.

It takes a human ear to catch the pauses, hesitations, mumbled words, and everything else to ensure an accurate, trustworthy record of a spoken conversation, medical notes, or legal deposition or court hearing. Computer algorithms are great, but they have proven time and again to be lacking in the worlds of medicine and law.

Voice recognition software also has serious deficiencies dealing with multiple people trying to speak over each other. And of course multiple voices are intrinsic in the world of court transcripts. The same is true with dialects and regional accents, colloquialisms, and overcoming background noise.  For voice recognition software to work perfectly, which the world of medical and legal transcription services require, it needs perfectly understandable, quality audio input. In the real world, this is seldom the case. There is also the requirement for proper document formatting, which voice recognition software is completely incapable of doing.

Lastly, voice recognition software needs to be “trained” to understand the specific speech and individual pronunciation patterns of individual speakers. This is, of course, impossible when it comes to recorded court hearings as well as many other types of dictation.

On the Other Hand

There are quite a few audio transcription projects that only require a rough “make do” quality of transcript. It may be only an informal transcript of a conversation where the resulting transcription will be used as a simple, quick archival record. Voice recognition software, in these types of cases, may be the perfect answer.

So if you don’t need near perfect transcription such as is required in medical patient notes or legal proceedings, voice recognition software is a tool you might consider. If, on the other hand, you need a reliable, accurate transcript that will stand up to medical or legal review, then the wise choice is to contact a professional transcription service with a proven track record that is several decades long, and who has a reputation of quality, accurate transcription.  You might try us. Our Syracuse, New York Transcription Services office can be reached at (315) 454-3969. You can also use our convenient contact form on our Contact Us page.