Many Eyeballs And Ears Makes All Errors Shallow!

Many earsIn open source there is a saying “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” meaning the more widely available the source code is for public testing, scrutiny, and experimentation, the more rapidly all forms of bugs will be discovered. The same principle applies to the way we process each transcripts and how it helps achieve unparalleled accuracy.

Transcription is of utmost importance today, many companies use transcription to have a share of numerous benefits which it provides. Quality is significant in transcription and can serve you in many ways. With quality comes responsibility of transcribing it with all parameters checked. At Scribie, each file is checked by multiple transcribers. Firstly, the file is divided into smaller chunks. Each transcriber works only on a part of the file. Each of those part files are then reviewed by reviewers who are promoted from our transcribers pool based on their excellent grades. As the entire file is divided among transcribers and reviewers, one may correct a part of file and someone else can fill the blanks as per their own knowledge. These part files are then collated and then proofread once again to improve the quality and remove any inconsistencies which could have been introduced since multiple people worked on it earlier. Each transcript is scanned thoroughly to remove errors and later validated by our experienced proof readers. Once proofread, it is then qc’ed by our delivery experts who assess the quality and deliver only those files which are 98% accurate. Those files which do not meet the criteria are again put back for proofreading. This process is repeated till the 98% accuracy is achieved. We hire experienced and certified transcribers who work professionally and have good skills. We have enough resource to research for technical terms and acronyms required for transcription. Since there are multiple people working on a file, chances are more that some or the other may have an idea about the topic being discussed and might be able to fill blanks or correct mistakes which others would be unaware off. We have formulated the entire process keeping accuracy and quality in mind. We believe that the more revisions the file has to go through, results in more accurate transcripts.

We are highly proficient in interview transcription, webinar transcription, podcast transcription, sermon transcription, group discussion transcription, lecture transcription and video transcription. We provide general transcription services as well as specialised transcription services for academic transcription, legal transcription and business or corporate conference calls transcription. As we have so many offerings, we train people to do the required research on topics mentioned in the files to get it right. We also have in house accent experts who can understand and develop accurate transcription.

Our clients can also order a free re-review if the transcript quality is not up to their expectations after the transcript has been delivered. The re-review order can be placed from your account along with specific instructions, if any. The file will be proofread once more and re-delivered.

Please send us a mail at support@scribie.com if you have any queries or you can chat with us directly.

Re-inventing Audio Transcription

Last month we completed four years of our company. We launched CallGraph Skype Recorder in April of 2008 with intention of offering services around it. The transcription service was one of those and it quickly became the most popular. The past four years we have invested all our time and effort in developing a human-powered transcription system with a single goal in mind: deliver the best quality transcript with the lowest amount of effort. In this series of posts we are going to write about this system in-depth.

So why build another human-powered transcription system? Why not just use a Automatic Speech Recognition system. Speech recognition has been in the limelight recently most notably because of Siri which uses Nuance’s Technology. In fact in Google Glass it’s a central component. Even Evernote recently added the support for it. However all of these systems employ keyword recognition; eg. commands that are spoken aloud. Our requirement was conversational speech recognition. The technology for that is still very immature. In fact we tried out CMU Shpinx and results were so poor that we ruled it out.

The big issue with human-powered systems is that it produces inconsistent results. Transcription is very labor intensive. And just like any labor intensive workflow, if you do not have processes in place, you will not be able to control the quality. The typical transcription process involves one person doing the typing work and maybe, another person proofreading it. On an average it  takes around four hours to type one hour of audio and around the same amount to edit it. This increases the cost of transcription. And even after that the transcript is bound to have mistakes, thereby affecting its quality.

So that was the starting point for us. Our system manages the transcription process end-to-end. It’s like a machine where you input the audio file and it outputs a high quality transcript in one day. This system is powered by our certified transcriptionists who do all the work. We have a well defined workflow and a robust process in place. We use some Machine Learning and Information Retrieval tools as well, but for the most part, it is all done by hand.

With this system we have completed more than 3000 hours of audio transcription till date and managed to survive four years in a highly competitive market. The best part is that we a high return rate of customers. For a startup, it might not be a stellar achievement like Instagram’s, but we believe that we have built something substantial; a scalable and reliable transcription service. The next post will cover the first part of our system, the transcriber certification process. Till then, if you are in need of a transcription service then you should try out our transcription service today. You will not be disappointed.

The next part of the series can be found here.