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August 11, 2023

How AI Can Help Transcription

Transcribing audio has been a great way to take notes, improve accessibility, and repurpose content. But it’s always been a long and labor-intensive process to create a transcript from audio. Until artificial intelligence (AI), that is.

A group of people in a conference room using Teams to meet with remote colleagues.

While ChatGPT has everyone talking , believe it or not, a version of AI is already embedded in many of the apps you use every day—offering you a streamlined transcription process. Continue reading to learn more about the following ways AI transcription helps, including:

  • Saving time
  • Saving money
  • Generating subtitles
  • Translating subtitles
  • Speaker recognition

Saves a ton of time. Before AI , transcribing audio was a stop-and-go process. A good typist would take anywhere from three to four hours to transcribe 60 minutes of audio. Not only is that time somebody’s paying for, but it’s also three to four times the amount of time it took to create the audio. That’s not efficient for anybody. You can save nearly all of that time spent transcribing by using AI transcription services.

AI transcription returns a workable transcript within a few minutes. And because you’re not the one transcribing it, you can take that time to work on something else. While the transcript won’t be perfect, you can take the time to read through it and make minor corrections as you go. Yes, this takes a little time, but it’s still a fraction of the amount of time it would take to do the job manually.

Saves you money. Not everybody has hours of extra time to go through the audio and transcribe it into text. If you’re not using AI to do the work, you’re paying somebody else to do it at an average rate of about $1 per audio minute, which adds up to about $15 to $20 an hour on an hour-long audio clip. If you’re a college student and have an hour’s worth of audio from three lectures a week, that’s $180 a week! Not to mention the other lectures you need to be transcribed. You can pay less than that from an AI transcription service in a year and have as much audio transcribed as you need.

“While ChatGPT has everyone talking, believe it or not, a version of AI is already embedded in many of the apps you use every day—offering you a streamlined transcription process.”

Automatically generate subtitles. Subtitles make everything more engaging. Whether you’re watching your favorite show on Netflix, playing a video game, or scrolling social media, it’s easier to hear what’s being said when you can also read it on the screen. AI can automatically generate subtitles for a video based on its dialogue. Social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok have AI software in place that will generate subtitles to help make videos much more accessible to audiences that are hard of hearing or deaf. The AI transcript is readily available and makes it easier to serve a larger audience without going through the process of transcribing the dialogue in the video.

Provide translated subtitles. Whether you’re logging onto the world wide web with your smartphone or a desktop computer, you can communicate with somebody on the exact opposite side of the globe in seconds. Not only does it help to bridge cultural gaps, but it allows everyone online to have an international audience. It doesn’t matter if you’re a billion-dollar entertainment company or a 16-year-old making dance videos with your friends, you could have loyal viewers thousands of miles away who don’t speak your language. AI video transcription is a great way to serve your audience better by translating your dialogue into their native language. What’s more, you don’t have to do any of the work to hire someone to translate your audio into a new transcript. Embedded AI software can translate on the fly to provide subtitles in many languages.

Until recently, translation software was clunky and produced awkward translations that didn’t always work. With help from AI and machine learning, these translations come out more accurate and conversational. For example, some translation software doesn’t account for slang. So, if someone in a video makes a reference to “mi carnal,” it would be directly translated to “my carnal,” or, “my flesh,” which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense out of context. However, an AI deep learning system that recognizes this reference before will know that the speaker is referring to a close friend.

Multiple people using a shared office space to review a transcript on a laptop.

Recognize and differentiate speakers in transcription. The average person can recognize differences in voices. Whether it’s as stark as the pitch of an adult man vs. a little girl, or the way a person pronounces specific words, we can typically tell who’s speaking in a conversation. However, there are times when it can be difficult to tell. Have you ever listened to a podcast and had moments where you can’t tell when one person stopped speaking and another started? AI doesn’t have that problem. An AI transcription bot can identify the differences between two speakers and separate their dialogue to provide a more accurate transcript.

You don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of time and money to get an accurate transcript from your audio. Just use AI transcription services for subtitles, blog posts, video calls, notetaking , and much more. Not only will your audio be more readable, but it’ll also be more accessible.

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