When to Use AI vs. Human-Powered Transcription

When to Use AI vs. Human-Powered Transcription

When considering whether to use AI-powered transcription or human-powered transcription for audio and video in English, it’s essential to weigh the advantages and limitations of each approach. The decision should be based on factors such as accuracy, cost, speed, and the specific requirements of the transcription task.

And a disclaimer: using AI-generated transcripts does NOT mean humans should not be a part of the process. Always ensure that the transcription company you work with has an experienced editor to fix AI transcripts for maximum quality.

The pros and cons of human-powered transcription


  1. Highest Accuracy: Humans can better handle accents, dialects, and complex technical terms, providing more accurate transcriptions.
  2. Context Understanding: Humans can interpret contextual nuances, emotions, and industry-specific language, ensuring a more nuanced and accurate transcription.
  3. Quality Control: Human transcriptionists can review and edit content to meet specific quality standards, eliminating errors and ensuring a polished final product.
  4. Confidentiality: Transcription companies can better assure confidentiality and data security.
  5. Audio Quality: Most audio has background noise, accents, multiple people speaking at once, or low speaking volume. Human ears can work with these files much, much better than AI, which relies on near-perfect audio.


  1. Slower Turnaround: Human transcription is generally slower than AI, which may be a limitation for time-sensitive projects.
  2. Higher Cost: Human transcription services are often more expensive, especially for large-scale projects.
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The pros and cons of AI-generated transcription (with human editing)


  1. Speed: AI transcription systems can process audio or video content rapidly, providing quick results.
  2. Cost-Effective: Automated transcription is generally more affordable than human transcription services, making it a cost-effective solution for large volumes of content.


  1. Accuracy: While AI has improved significantly, it still struggles with accents, background noise, or technical jargon, leading to potential inaccuracies. Even simple things like homophones or proper nouns can still pose issues for AI.
  2. Lack of Context Understanding: AI may not grasp contextual nuances, humor, or industry-specific terms as effectively as humans.
  3. Editing Required: Human oversight is often necessary to correct errors and ensure the final transcript meets quality standards.
  4. Lack of Confidentiality and Security: A third-party AI is required, meaning the content may not be secure and kept confidential. Your audio or video is likely used to shape the AI, and where that information ends up is a worry.

“The trend towards human-powered transcription is not just driven by the need for accuracy, but also by the desire for privacy and security.”

“The trend towards human-powered transcription is not just driven by the need for accuracy, but also by the desire for privacy and security.”

When to use AI-generated vs. human-powered transcription

  1. Use Human-Powered Transcription When:
    • Accuracy is paramount, especially for sensitive or technical content.
    • Contextual understanding is essential, such as transcribing interviews or legal proceedings.
    • Rigorous quality control and editing are necessary.
    • Confidentiality and data security is required.
  2. Use AI (With Human Editing) When:
    • Speed and cost-effectiveness are crucial.
    • The content is extremely straightforward and lacks complex terminology, background noise, and multiple speakers. Audio quality should be as close to perfect as possible for the AI to create a transcript.


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The decision between AI and human-powered transcription depends on the specific requirements of the task at hand. Combining both approaches, where appropriate, can also offer a balanced solution that leverages the strengths of each method. However, human-powered transcription is guaranteed quality, while AI-generated solutions can be very hit-and-miss.

Luckily, Atomic Scribe is skilled in both AI-generated (with human editing) and completely human-powered transcription. So give us a try today, no matter which service you choose.

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    Atomic Scribe

    Atomic Scribe provides high-quality language services for all markets and sectors. Human-powered. Professional. Personal.

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