Effective Captioning Strategies: When to Use AI Versus Human

Having transcriptions and captions available is especially important for those who have little or no hearing, but it also is helpful in situations where it’s inappropriate to listen to something with the sound on. Whether you need a transcription or captions for a speech or lecture, to create subtitles for online video posting, or you need notes from a live event, transcriptions and captioning are essential.  

DIY is Time Consuming

Let’s face it, doing transcription yourself is a time consuming, tedious task. Verbatim transcription can take four times as long as the speech or presentation depending on your typing speed, the number of speakers, quality and clarity of the speaker and recording, and the difficulty of the material. Most enterprise video solutions  recognizes that educators, administrators and professionals alike need to be spending their time on other tasks and have accounted for this in their offerings. 

Human and AI Each Have Benefits

There are two main types of transcription or captioning services, human and artificial intelligence (AI). Each option has it’s unique benefits, and depending on your needs, both have advantages to consider based on your application. Chances are that your organization will find a need for both services. It’s less “human versus AI ” and more understanding when each will serve a better purpose for your needs at the time. 

Artificial Intelligence Use Cases

For instance, if you’re in a time crunch, you can’t beat the speed of AI. The software recognizes speech and translates it to text in real time. While it’s typically not at the level of ADA compliance, AI gets better every day — it actually learns from mistakes. Over time and usage, the artificial intelligence engine continues to learn and improve. Some companies go a step further to improve accuracy of AI transcription and captioning. YuJa’s automatic captioning accuracy is validated internally with YuJa Product Team staff on a semi-monthly basis. These tests are carried out on various accents, dialects, and regions of the world to determine the accuracy of the software. 

When you need a transcription in multiple languages, AI is a great tool. Sending an audio file out for human transcription in this type of scenario would not only be cost prohibitive, but timely. Many professional transcriptionists only transcribe to their native language, so you would need several people to transcribe one file. If you need multiple language transcriptions, look for a video solution that integrates with third-party services that provide captioning and transcription in a variety of languages, from English, to Spanish, French, German, French, Mandarin, Arabic, and others.

When to Consider Human Transcription 

Because humans have the capacity to understand complex information, human transcription and captioning is the go-to choice for accuracy.

With human transcription, it may take longer, but it’s less likely that you will have to go back and re-listen to audio to gain clarity after reading the transcript.

Human transcription and captioning also should be considered in other instances, such as when there are several speakers, when speakers have thick accents, or there is a lot of background noise.

Language is complex. Humans understand this. We know about and can decipher homonyms. We have the capacity to pick up on changing topics, people using acronyms, interruptions, or speakers with regional dialects or accents, and humans can account for those and other language nuances in the transcript.

Integration is Crucial 

When considering human and AI services for your enterprise or institution, it’s ideal to look for a company that integrates with both. That means the organization understands its customers’ each have unique needs and instances in which human or AI transcriptions and captions would better serve them. The YuJa Enterprise Video Platform integrates with third-party human captioning services for both automated and manual workflows. Our captioning partners provide ADA-compliant (99%+) captioning solutions to YuJa customers. Caption workflows can also be managed and turned on-and-off when appropriate. YuJa currently supports the following providers: 3Play Media, Rev, Verb.it and AST CaptionSync, as well as some region-specific vendors.

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