According to Cheapism, court reporters, typists, and transcriptionists of all stripes can expect to be passed over for automated tools that can more swiftly and cheaply take down conversations. Does that mean Artificial Intelligence (AI) threatens transcription jobs now?
Who Says AI Will Devastate the Transcription World
Transcribe Anywhere and Borlok Transcription both say transcribers are safe. Before you say, “Who do you both think you are to make such strong statements?” We have the knowledge and expertise to know what it takes to succeed as a transcriptionist. But the scientists have decreed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to take over in many careers. In contrast, we are not the only transcription companies that are on one side of the coin saying that AI will not be replacing transcriptionists. The other side of the coin has proponents of people that believe that artificial intelligence will take over. Just look at Quora and type in search “transcription and AI.” Granted, some of the posts are a few years old, but there are more current posts as well.
Speaking of Personal Knowledge & Expertise
Janet Shaughnessy gives us six reasons why transcription is here to stay. AI can’t do everything a human transcriptionist can do. Let’s take a look at what she says.
- You must train AI to recognize individual voices. AI is not good at this.
- It can’t ID speakers.
- Formatting is not completed.
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- It can’t punctuate properly.
- You will need to research unfamiliar words and phrases.
- AI doesn’t understand context.
But wait! Video transcription is evolving. I alerted virtual assistants and transcriptionists that video conferencing transcription was on the horizon back in 2018. My advice at that time was to not sit on your laurels and wait for video conferencing transcription by a skilled human transcriber to go away. I included multiple reasons that a small business like you can get into creating and promoting videos.
I searched in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Handbook for information for medical and legal outlooks in the future. Below is some of the information I found.
“Employment of medical transcriptionists is projected to decline 7 percent from 2020 to 2030.” (Notice the Handbook said ‘decline’ and not go away.”
“Employment in legal occupations is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations, and will result in about 116,600 new jobs.”
Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners
“Court reporters create word-for-word transcriptions at trials, depositions, and other legal proceedings. That means that successful legal scopists are not only going to flourish in 2021 but far into the future.”
“Simultaneous captioners provide similar transcriptions for television or for presentations in other settings, such as press conferences and business meetings, for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.”
I would say that general transcriptionists have the best of all three of the categories. They work in all types of industries, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
They listen to recordings and enter information into computer systems. The data they enter tracks sales, documents actions, and helps leaders make crucial decisions.
More companies are investing in online videos as a marketing tool. More and more of those videos require captions to reach the largest possible audience. Opportunity opens for the general transcribers. Are you ready?
But wait! More and more companies are expanding into global markets. Those transcriptionists that can transcribe in multiple languages have a distinct advantage. And of course, it goes without saying that a large majority of companies and organizations understand the importance of context. So, they are thrilled when they get transcriptionists that accurately capture the spoken words. In addition, they understand the meaning and intent behind those words.
Who Needs You to Transcribe
Transcription jobs are readily available if you know where to look. Below are some options for you. Of course, some of them may already be familiar to you, but there may be new options, as well.
- Journalism and Media
- Video Production
- Podcasting (This is really becoming popular.)
- Market Research/User Experience (UX)
- Academic Research
- Legal Transcription – This can include memoranda, depositions, court tapes, verbatim, wiretaps, and trials.
- Medical Documentation – You may see medical transcriptionists referred to as healthcare documentation specialists according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook.) These same specialists listen to voice recordings and convert them into written reports. They also may review and edit medical documents created using speech recognition technology. Another responsibility they have is to interpret medical terminology and abbreviations used in preparing medical histories, discharge summaries, and other documents.
- Public Speaking
And the above is only a sampling. Do you think that artificial intelligence threatens transcription jobs now or even in the future? To clarify, I don’t think so; the demand is too great!
Escalate Your Transcription Speed
You can use AI to help you get your transcriptions done sooner so you can make more money. I complete video transcription using Otter.ai. Otter has made my life easier. I not only upload recordings from clients, but I also can upload my own recordings and have them transcribed. True, you won’t have a perfect transcription. That’s okay. Searching and editing is a piece of cake.
So, what are you waiting for? Do not just shrug your shoulders and go, “Oh well. Artificial intelligence is going to take away my job, so I might as well get used to it.” Stop it! Get busy and become the success you can achieve! You can start right now by saying you can do this.