Seventeen years ago, I wondered if technology would eliminate the need for audio transcription within five years in terms of verbatim style recorded statements. Although we are working heavily in the area of speech recognition for some of our clients, it will not have an affect on recorded statements to any great degree at all. The reason for this view is because of two shortcomings of technology and the one major issue of the desire to win:
- With insurance transcription, technology will not get in the way of recorded statements because of the unique person being interviewed every single time. Although speech recognition can be trained by the everyday individual user (although I can’t seem to make it work quite the way I want it), it has no effective way to handle a unique person being interviewed each and every time.
- The other problem with speech recognition technology in terms of replacing human transcription is that it has no way of doing verbatim style transcription. Verbatim style transcription is an art, and live transcriptionists are taught to remove their natural inclination to auto-edit when they type. This is why audio transcription training needs to be so extensive and consistent grading and tracking must be done to avoid the transcriptionist from slipping back into their auto-editing, everyday world. In fact, when I’ve seen trained transcriptionists from other countries that know English very well try to do verbatim style transcription for a U.S. company, it’s surprising because they do not truly know the nuances of our North American brand of English. I talked to one high-level manager about their effort to take the recorded interviews overseas and it was a disaster. They brought the work back very quickly as a severely failed experiment.
- Last but not least is in the area of preparedness and/or winning. From what has been shared with me, a verbatim style transcript is not going away because it has nuances that can be used in the preparation of a claim and determining whether to spend valuable resources on the claim. She said that at the moment when recorded interviews are taken is when the value of the information can be exceptionally high. Quality verbatim style transcripts can be the key to their preparation, controlling costs and winning. She viewed the recorded statements and verbatim style transcription as the key to saving money rather than just another expense category!
Other feedback regarding audio transcription would be very interesting! This area has become one of my favorites to visit about so feel free to add your feedback or touch base with me at 1-800-371-4315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.