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  • Accessibility and AI-generated transcripts

     Karen updated 11 months ago 5 Members · 10 Posts
  • Jenn

    October 9, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Hi folks! Wasn’t sure where the right place to put this was — let me know if it should be somewhere else, and so excited to be able to tap into the hive mind.

    At work, we’ve gone back and forth for (literally) years about transcripts. We produce ~30 hours of audio a month and can’t afford as a company to have human-edited transcripts for all our shows. I’ve been debating the merits of the AI-generated transcripts for a while now. We want to do this as a listener service but my concern is, is an inaccurate transcript actually helpful enough to be worth investing in? Or is it accurate or bust?

    Any thoughts on best practices, what y’all have found, anecdata, etc., would be so welcome.

  • Karen

    October 10, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Jenn

    Transcripts are an important accessibility tool but you will need to
    clean up an auto-generated version for them to be truly useful.

    AI services like Descript and Otter can get you more than halfway to a decent transcript but have their limits. They don’t always handle place names, people names or technical terms very well, so a human would still have to go through and make those corrections. But since the transcript is timestamped, you can jump to where you need to make corrections.

    They seem to work best on clear, intelligible audio, and unfortunately don’t handle heavy accents well and only support English speakers for now.

    Let me know if you have any questions!


  • Elsie

    October 11, 2020 at 2:09 am

    I hear you about this. The industry is for sure looking for cost-effective solution for this as a service – for accessibility issues — I think that is different than transcripts for better AI

    I have yet to find someone that has this SOLVED, as in, workflow, adding it to the website in a way that looks great AND is cost effective.

    I think that maybe biting off in little chunks might be able to work. Maybe you don’t do ALL the transcripts for all the shows…here is what I suggest…

    ▸ Choose your top – let’s say 5 episodes of the month (across all shows)

    ▸ Run those through Otter.ia or Descript

    ▸ Hire someone to do clean up on those transcripts (figure out a reasonable price, that is doable)

    Establish the workflow to offer the most value for your listeners.

    Slowly build *something* out vs thinking that you have to do EVERYTHING. 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • Jenn

      October 14, 2020 at 3:53 pm

      Ohhh, a good point! I hadn’t thought about segmenting it, but that’s definitely something to consider. Thanks!!

  • Jessica

    October 15, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Hey! All I can say is that Descript and there’s a new one, Searchie, are GOOD but none of it is GREAT. You still have to do a clean edit and fix words and make sentences in some cases.

    • Jenn

      October 19, 2020 at 9:28 am

      Good to know!

  • Ginger Campbell

    October 18, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    I have long created transcripts for my Brain Science podcast, but I have found that AI generated transcripts are too inaccurate. I only use them for getting time stamps and so I can review interviews more quickly. I used to use Temi until they raised their rates, but now I use Descript.

    I will mention that after my longtime transcriber retired I had trouble finding a good replacement. However, I am currently happy with SmartTranscribers and I recommend reaching out personally to Victor O the CEO at Smarttranscribers.

    My current workflow is to use Descript to prepare instructions for my audio editor and then send the final version of each episode to Smarttranscribers. However, I still have to do a final edit because of the nature of my content.

    • This reply was modified 11 months ago by  Ginger Campbell. Reason: added something I forgot
    • Jenn

      October 19, 2020 at 9:28 am

      Thanks Virginia; it’s so useful to hear about others’ processes.

      • Jenn

        October 19, 2020 at 4:32 pm

        I mean Ginger!!! Sorry, my caffeine hadn’t fully kicked in yet!

  • Karen

    October 19, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Another good service is Rev. You can provide them a vocabulary list, so proper names and technical/medical terms will be right. They’re $1.25/minute so it can add up and I don’t know how that compares to a freelance transcriber.

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