Saturday, November 15, 2008

Automatic vs Outsourced Meeting Transcription

One of the main problem in turning meeting recordings into meeting "records" is transcription of dialogues.

Nowadays there are two possible options:

1. Using one state-of-the-art Speech-to-Text tool.
2. Getting serviced by a company that manually transcribes voice data.

With the first option, one must be prepared with a variable inaccuracy of the transcription depending on the recording quality and the sophistication of the underlying speech recognition algorithm. The Word Error Rates vary between 5 and 10%. This option would probably require a post-processing phase to review the output of the automatic tool for correcting errors.

The second alternative is now possible thanks to some companies that provide transcription services such as Outsource2India.

What is important to us is that transcription of meetings is now viable and affordable. Also, those who want to rely on good quality transcription can use inexpensive (even free) software for manual transcription such as ExpressScribe.

The bottom up is that working directly on dialog transcriptions for summarizing the content is now possible and cost effective.

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