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Old 04-10-2012, 09:43 PM
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Default Government Audio Transcription Software

Our local police department has contacted me about researching different types of audio recording and transcription software. They want to be able to record meetings and have the software to automatically transcribe the recordings into a hard copy that can be printed out, therefore eliminating the need for someone in city hall to do it.
Through my searches on the web I have found that there are various types of software that will do what they need done, but there are also various prices. They have a very small budget and I would prefer to have the opinions of some techs who may have dealt with this type of software before I give them a recommendation.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:10 PM
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Honestly, having worked with voice recognition systems in the past, I can't see anything really doing this job well. Even software that you dictate to requires very clear sound and even then is spotty without a lot of software training. My main concern is how would you record everyone at such a high quality that the software would be able to transcribe it accurately. I would be interested in hearing what you decide to go with if you do find something.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:21 PM
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I think MozTech is right. Voice recognition software just isn't advanced enough to handle this type of scenario. Even if everyone was mic'd, the results would be spotty, especially on a tight budget. Did they give you any input about where they got this idea from? Did a clerk hear about another city using it? Or did a clerk stay up late watching Star Trek reruns?
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:39 PM
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Court stenographers are screwed if this exists...
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 'putertutor View Post
Or did a clerk stay up late watching Star Trek reruns?
I loled

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Originally Posted by compnet View Post
Court stenographers are screwed if this exists...
Even if they make something that can do this for meetings, I can't see this happening in courtrooms to many years to come. They are way too dynamic. At least not until we get some real AI.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:30 AM
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Even if they make something that can do this for meetings, I can't see this happening in courtrooms to many years to come. They are way too dynamic. At least not until we get some real AI.
Not to mention the legal implications. Could you be liable if they lost a conviction because the transcription software messed something up? Regardless, I don't believe there is any such software. Dragon are the market leader in voice recognition and their app requires extensive training to be accurate - how is software going to be accurate when transcribing an unknown voice from a recording of unknown quality?

Last edited by seedubya; 04-11-2012 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotzTech View Post
Honestly, having worked with voice recognition systems in the past, I can't see anything really doing this job well. Even software that you dictate to requires very clear sound and even then is spotty without a lot of software training. My main concern is how would you record everyone at such a high quality that the software would be able to transcribe it accurately. I would be interested in hearing what you decide to go with if you do find something.
I totally agree and is my main reason for asking the question here. I know we have a great selection of professionals here who have come across about everything imaginable.
I have came up with an idea but would like to know what you all think. The only way I can really see them getting close to what they want is to record the meetings with a digital voice recorder (they use cassette now) and then have the person transcribing it to use a program like dragon to transcribe it. They are not looking to replace the transcriptionist, just make her job a little easier. Any thoughts or better ideas?
As far as legal issues, there are not really any to worry about. All they want is the ability to efficiently record city council meetings (sometimes they involve the police department) and have them transcribed for the public to read. I probably should have been a little clearer about this in my original post.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:58 AM
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The problem with Dragon, and all voice recognition software that I know of, is that it takes a great deal of training to get it to work properly. The software needs several sessions of listening to a single user to work properly. Also, it is limited to needing special indicators from the speaker, especially for things like punctuation. The software still confuses their, there, and they're, unless they are spoken just so, according to the training. And punctuation is its own nightmare.

Honestly, this would end up being more of a hassle for the transcriptionist than not. The process of correcting his or her own occasional mistakes is far quicker than trying to decipher how some software has mutilated what was being said.

Tell them to spend the money on a new computer and a new chair for the transcriptionist. Probably make them happier than the software and faster too.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:01 AM
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why don't you offer them a service?

Sell them the technology to at least record the call, like a digital desk dictaphone or similar, have them email/ftp upload the mp3 file of the meeting and find someone on fiverr.com or similar to transcribe it. Charge them $xx

That what id be doing, trying to build a service around what they want. Like others have said voice recog isnt quite there yet especially that can handle the kind of differing accents, talking over scenarios you will get in a meeting.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by OfficeTechs View Post
why don't you offer them a service?

Sell them the technology to at least record the call, like a digital desk dictaphone or similar, have them email/ftp upload the mp3 file of the meeting and find someone on fiverr.com or similar to transcribe it. Charge them $xx

That what id be doing, trying to build a service around what they want. Like others have said voice recog isnt quite there yet especially that can handle the kind of differing accents, talking over scenarios you will get in a meeting.
sorry, you want to get the POLICE to outsource transcribing potentially critical meetings to just about anyone who bids on it each time? Without any vetting on who they are or what their qualifications are? What could POSSIBLY go wrong...

By all means sell them a service that automatically uploads the dictation to somewhere secure (and onsite) for them to work with later through a dictation program of choice but the rest of that idea is horribly under thought...
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