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The Need for Humans in Transcribing Speech

More and more processes in the modern world are getting automated. Today, there’s no business that doesn’t make use of automation in some way or other. With human interaction becoming limited in several factors, there are still a few activities that necessitate human involvement for delivering the best output. Medical transcription process is one of those.

Significance of Accuracy and its Need in Medical Transcription

Accuracy of the medical reports plays a vital role in patients’ safety and the way health care is being delivered. Access to flawless patient information is one of the major components that control quality of care. A compromise to the health records spells doom for care quality and timely care delivery.

Reasons Why 100% Accuracy is Not Possible Through Automatic Speech Recognition Software Alone

As much as technology has advanced during the recent past, and even after innovative automatic speech recognition software has made an entry into the world of transcription, human intervention and review are inevitable.

There are certain factors that preclude accomplishing total accuracy by using speech recognition software alone. For achieving publishing-ready transcripts with need for minimal review, perhaps a hybrid approach may prove fruitful.

Elements That Hinder Achieving 100% Accuracy Using Speech Recognition Software

  • Grammar and Punctuation: Things that are implied by the tone of a speaker need to be expressed using punctuation marks such as comma, period, or colon – which is not possible by software alone: human review is essential
  • Speech accents and patterns: People from different regions have different styles of speaking – training the software to recognize various accents and patterns may not be possible
  • Use of Unusual words and homonyms: While it is possible for the speech processing software to recognize those phrases and words that it has been trained to, it may not recognize slang or highly technical vocabulary
  • Overlapping speech and ambient noise: Factors such as noise from music or wind will impact the accuracy of transcripts in the case of automatic speech recognition software
  • Number of speakers: With multiple speakers, the chances of their interrupting one another or trying to speak simultaneously are more – making it impossible for computers to deduce the words properly

Differentiating between words with subtle changes in pronunciation or homophones present challenge for speech recognition software in understanding the contextual meaning implied. Such factors make it necessary for resorting to human review and proofing when the transcription process is performed using speech recognition technology.

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