There are many benefits and drawbacks to the translation software currently available on the market. Though it can be a very powerful tool in some instances, it is not foolproof and it cannot directly compete with professional translation services. Let’s first examine its weaknesses:
Time Consuming Few companies have the time or resources needed to train dictation software, and even that training can only go so far. It takes time for the software to ‘learn’ the idiosyncrasies of the speaker’s speech patterns, and that means that time must be spent training it. For each new speaker, there is a learning curve for the software.
Language, Dialect, Slang, and Accent Discrepancies While the technology is amazing, and would have likely been seen as futuristic just a few years ago, it does have weaknesses, one of which is its inability to translate from one language to another effectively. It will also lack the understanding of particular accents, slang terms, and the ability to transition from one speaker to another clearly.
Cannot Easily Accept Outside Direction Another big issue commonly reported, by those who try to use automated transcription in the place of human services, is that the software cannot accept input, and thus cannot meet needs outside the direct transcription of voice to text. In other words, where a real person can be directed to spell a business name a particular way, to insert notes not included in the audio file at particular points, and other such things, automated digital transcription services only provide a rough transcription, which is generally not enough for businesses.
For these reasons, even with the presence of automated software, the human-based translation industry continues to see annual growth. More than nine out of every ten transcription jobs still require a human being’s ability.
There are benefits to the software, however. The technology has served as a major aid to transcriptionists. It is not as much a direct competition for the human workforce, but rather an compliment. It allows online transcription services to operate faster and, therefore, lowers the rates charged to clients.