Voice and speech recognition software is now slowly becoming common place in our homes and workplaces. With the likes of Siri and Alexa we are now able to ask for directions, bring up playlists and perform Google searches with ease. But how will this use of speech recognition be of benefit in an office or workspace environment? The answer to this requires you to step back from the ideas of how we use this in our personal lives and look at the benefits of this software through a professional working lens.
One area where speech recognition is hugely beneficial in the workplace is within audio transcription services. Whether you are a journalist, doctor, academic or business professional you will no doubt regularly have a need for voice audio to be transcribed into written or electronic text. To do this yourself would take hours of your valuable time so utilising a professional service, is an industry wide standard practice. The most common output from a transcription service is the production of your text in an electronic document, although handwritten outputs can still be requested if needed. Electronic texts can then easily be printed or saved in a secure file format ready for sharing via email etc.
Transcription services can be carried out manually or via speech recognition software and both have their benefits. The obvious benefit to speech recognition software is the ease and speed at which audio can be transcribed, and that no human intervention is required – until the final proof-reading stage. However, the benefit of manual transcription is the ability to apply accuracy and understanding to any of the nuances and context of the audio content prior to proof reading. This is something which speech recognition software has yet to advance at.
When considering ease of application, the logistics of manual transcription and costs involved it can sometimes be beneficial to consider using speech recognition software in some workplace settings. Automated speech recognition software uses speech recognition language libraries to produce highly accurate (but not 100% accurate) text versions of speech. This can be used either in situ in an office environment or via a mobile app version of the software package. If using the mobile app version this can be used out and about on location, which is extremely handy if you carry out field work, are a reporter, journalist or need to dictate emails or messages whilst travelling.
There are several software packages and apps available that can convert your spoken audio quickly and easily into written text. This can make the turnaround time, especially if the content isn’t heavily punctuated with industry jargon or acronyms; or if you are keeping the documents in house for reference only. If these are your main output requirements, then speech recognition software may be a great solution for you. Using this in situations such as taking meeting notes or recording interview conversations, recording task lists or creating verbal order and stock lists, speech recognition software can save you heaps of time. However, remember if you are to publish material or have industry heavy terminology then it is advisable to still have the text proof read manually to rectify mistakes and misheard words.