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Human vs Machine Transcription: Selecting the Right Product For Your Use Case

The age-old discussion of man versus machine seems to be never-ending. On one hand, the cognitive intelligence possessed by humans is beyond comparison. On the other, the efficiency and speed offered by machines also stand unmatched. The same conundrum is faced by experts when opting for video transcription and captioning. Whether to go for a human vs machine transcription remains a major question. 

With the massive development in technology, content circulation has found faster and newer means. The Internet has allowed easy dissemination of information through videos with a few clicks. Transcription and captioning video content help in improving online engagement and viewer retention. Such measures assist you in optimizing your video content effectively and increase its searchability. Once you have decided to take on speech-to-text measures to improve the reach of your content, the next step is – selecting the most suitable option. This part can be puzzling as each individual has different need-based applications depending upon their specific requirements and audience type. 

AI/Machine Transcription

As the name suggests, machine transcription uses software to recognize audio and turn it into text with minimal human assistance. Just like any other machine automated process, AI transcription takes very little time and lessens human efforts. However, its accuracy does not meet the 99% accuracy threshold need for compliance requirements. 

Machine transcription is affordable and converts the audio to text in less than a minute, providing sufficient accuracy to the user. If you are looking for a transcription solution for bulk work or at a low cost, this method might be your best option.

Human Transcription

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Download the full human vs. machine breakdown here!

In simple words, human transcription involves real people listening to the speech and dialogues of an audio file and manually giving it a textual structure. Since human transcription uses cognitive power, the results are more accurate, up to 99%, when compared with the AI transcription style. Especially if the recording or video file is of lower quality, machines have a difficult time making out every nuance of tone, dialect, or jargon. Human transcriptionists can also provide:

  • speaker identification
  • perform foreign language translations
  • and include descriptive explanations that go beyond speech-to-text alone

However, while this method has the pros of accuracy and veracity, it can be time-consuming and involve tremendous human efforts that aren’t possible in-house. Thus, it requires a larger financial burden than machine when outsourcing transcription. Businesses that treasure accuracy over time and budget should utilize human vs machine transcription. 

When to Use Human vs. Machine Transcription

AI/Machine Transcription Human Transcription
  • Need immediate turnaround 
  • Have a tight budget 
  • Have a large amount of content you need to transcribe 
  • A very clear audio file 
  • Media isn’t critical 
  • Free to spend time editing the file
  • Considerations are not very significant
  • Federally required to have accurate captions 
  • Need or want accuracy for improved brand perception 
  • Have more money to invest 
  • Don’t have time to spend on editing your own content 
  • Want to formally publish your work 
  • Want to significantly boost your SEO 
  • Have a low-quality recording 
  • Have a recording with foreign languages that need translating 
  • Have a recording with heavy accents, dialect, or jargon that needs identifying
  • Have multiple speakers that need identifying 
  • Have contextual elements beyond speech-to-text that need identifying

Can AI/Machine and Human Transcription Work Together?

Short answer, yes! In the world of captioning and transcription, machines cannot yet replace the role of human cognitive power without major sacrifice to the output. 

At cielo24, we combine the power of machine transcription with expert human intelligence to provide high-quality, accurate transcripts. For example, the simple but tiring task of transcribing bulk audio files is done by machines in less time. Human intellect is then used to proofread the result and boost its accuracy.

cielo24 Merges Machine and Human Power for Top-Notch Captions and Transcripts

Woman with headphones on looking at her computer screencielo24 is a leading online platform that creates searchable metadata, including indexes, transcripts, and captions for video and audio media creators across all industries. 

Through its trained speech engine and AI technology, cielo24’s platform delivers cost-effective on-demand video and audio solutions for increased engagement to maximize video investment. Start captioning now!

Nicole E. Flynn, CMO at cielo24, is deeply interested in exploring and communicating the ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) intersects with various aspects of our daily lives. She is passionate about exploring the ways in which AI can be ethically harnessed to improve the quality of life and make our world a better place. Nicole seeks to educate and inform audiences about the potential of AI technology and how it can be used to drive innovation and growth.