Getting the Most Out of Speech Transcription

Mar 21, 2023
Getting the Most Out of Speech Transcription

Whether you’re already a Plivo customer or just researching what Plivo can do for you, don’t overlook our speech transcription service. Using it is as simple as setting a flag in the code and providing a URL where Plivo can send the transcription text.

How speech transcription works

How does speech transcription work? Speech-to-text software takes voice audio as input. It uses signal-processing algorithms to select phonemes from the sound data, then applies linguistic algorithms to save them in text as words and sentences.

Professions like journalists, lawyers, and doctors frequently depend on hiring transcribers to turn their recorded notes into text, but that’s expensive. Machine transcription costs less than human work, and it’s much faster, so you can process more data per unit of time. On average, adults read 240-260 words per minute, while conversational speech runs around 150 words per minute.

The drawback is that transcribed speech is less accurate than human transcription, depending in part on the quality of the audio from which it’s taken, but many businesses are willing to make that tradeoff to save time and money. After all, if the software reports someone said, “The ratio of going to bed cholesterol is in the normal range,” it’s obvious it was really “good to bad.”

How can speech transcription help you meet your business goals? Every business is different, but here are some common use cases that many businesses can profit from.

Speech transcription use cases

Accessibility — Speech-to-text capabilities mean that audio data can be converted in real time for subtitling, which can allow individuals with hearing impairment to more fully participate in events.

Conference call transcriptions — Text is easier to search than audio files. You can provide every member of a conference call with a transcript of the conversation as a record of the discussion and decisions made on the call. This use case also works well for public conference calls, such as earnings calls.

Audio bookmarks — If you transcribe audio and make the text available along with the audio file, you can navigate to the clips you’re looking for by clicking on keywords.

Agent coaching — In a call center scenario, managers need ways to bring agents along. By transcribing their conversations, managers can quickly review conversations, get an overview of a call, and offer coaching. An application can also extract keywords from text; in support scenarios, that lets agents look up material about the key terms, while in sales scenarios, managers can analyze conversations to see what keywords are most useful in closing deals.

Legal evidence — Call recordings constitute a contemporaneous and accurate description of a conversation that can serve as evidence in legal proceedings. Transcribing the calls makes it easier to search for relevant terms in batches of recordings.

Team communications — Many managers prefer explaining things verbally, but that approach doesn’t always scale when it comes to disseminating information. You can transcribe an informational call and distribute the audio along with the transcription to make it faster and easier for multiple people to get the message.

Translation — Machine translation from one language’s audio to another’s is difficult and expensive. Taking the intermediate step of transcribing the spoken words lets you use text-powered translation tools, which are more mature and less expensive.

AI applications — Organizations can leverage AI and machine learning to optimize processes, predict outcomes, and prescribe actions. Machine learning software may have a better time using text than audio files as input.

How to enable voice transcription in Plivo

Plivo’s transcription service can save you time and money. Rather than sending your Plivo voice recordings to a third party for transcription, streamline your workflow by using Plivo’s transcription service.

You can use Plivo’s Voice API to perform automatic speech recognition (ASR) on calls with our Record API or Record XML element. Along with industry-leading accuracy, you get industry-leading pricing as well; our transcription service — which works on English language audio — has one of the lowest costs in the industry. Think about which of your applications could be enhanced by voice to text, and give Plivo’s technology a try.

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