Posted by: tamara bentzur | December 6, 2009

Voice Recognition Software – Is it the End for Transcription Services?

Voice Recognition Technology is Only Going to Improve


Voice Recognition Software- it almost sounds menacing “voice recognition software”, and it is for many of us who make our living transcribing audio and video recordings. But one must be realistic and ask, “Is the technology going away?” No. “Will research and development continue and will the technologies improve vastly?” Yes. Logically this tells us to prepare for the future.

As a transcriptionist, I find myself in the same position as the horse-drawn carriage builder found himself in when the automobile first hit the roads. I need to adapt, not fight or bury my head in the sand; so adapting I am. Persons using or considering using voice recognition software need to realize the only human component of the transcribing procedure that is being eliminated is the actual word-setting mechanics, converting a sound into a black and white form.


What Does Voice Recognition Software Replace?


I agree this can be done with acceptable results today, and most certainly in the near future it will be accomplished with near perfect results. So this mechanical procedure, in time, naturally needs to be accomplished by machine, but transcription is not merely mechanical character creation – it is more importantly the editing procedure of the document creation that will catch your eye, and cause you to rate a transcribed document as excellent or poorly crafted.

As an example, a few weeks ago I sent and unedited version of a document to one of my long-time clients by mistake. He replied in an email with “Tamara, this does not look like your work; did you subcontract it out?” He noticed the lack of editing, not a lack of black characters on a white page. In addition, he was not speaking of typos, for the document had undergone spell checking. Specifically, he noticed I had not yet made him sound like he had intended to be understood. It was this alone that tipped him off that something was amiss.

Capturing the client’s intentions and “voice” is still where a professional transcriptionist makes her mark and her money. Technology cannot achieve this service yet, although I’m sure they will try.  

“Tamara Bentzur is an amazing asset to anyone fortunate enough to work with her. As an internet talk-radio host, I have weekly transcription needs. Some of my colleagues use voice recognition transcribing software, but they never end up with a high quality product without significant time and effort spent “cleaning things up. Tamara’s services are one of the best business investment’s I’ve made. I count on her prompt, professional, high quality service every week for transcribing my radio show. I will never switch to voice recognition software. It cannot compete with Tamara’s service! Her excellent communication, writing and editing skills are invaluable addition to my business.”

Christy Cuellar-Wentz, M.A. – Co-founder and Host,


Traditional, Third-World Transcription 

Services will be the Hardest Hit


Traditional, third-world transcription services will be the hardest hit as the technology increases. I added the clarifier “traditional” to third-world transcription because I myself presently live in the “third world”, in Israel, but I am not a traditional third-world service provider. I am an American born, raised, and educated person who relocated to this country.

Traditional third-world providers utilize locals who possess English as a second language and who have achieved various levels of fluency. These service providers currently offer a more reliable product than the voice recognition technology can provide, for simple word creation, at little cost. Persons who don’t need editing beyond spell checking, who are typically the ones using such transcription services, will not experience such a notable change when going to a mechanically created document; this technological advancement will greatly affect the future of the traditional third world transcription market.

If you currently use or intend to use voice recognition software, but want the richness of a professionally edited document that keeps your “voice”, contact me for a quote.

“Tamara, I just wanted to say how blown away I am by your transcription services.  I recorded the first draft of my new book while I was on a 2 hour walk.  It was quite windy, there were countless background noises, and my thoughts jumped around.  Anyway, I thought you would simply transcribe my audio and then I would have to go over it again and rearrange it.  I almost fell off my chair when I got the 13 page transcription back and it read just like a book! I don’t know how you did it, but you are absolutely amazing.  You have a customer for life! Thank you so much.”

Scott Brandley, CEO Trust Guard,

You can find me at:, or on Skype at: ajinred. 


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