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What Is Voice Transcription?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Voice transcription is a process by which audio recordings, usually created through dictation, are re-created as textual transcripts for a variety of purposes. This type of transcription is used in a number of fields, though medical transcriptions are quite common and allow doctors to make verbal notes that are later turned into text. Legal transcription is also frequently created so a lawyer can record his or her thoughts or research regarding a legal brief, which are then typed out. Voice transcription can be handled by an actual person who listens to a recording and types it out, or automated through talk-to-text software.

The basic purpose of voice transcription is for someone to be able to record his or her own voice and then have that recording transcribed into a text format. This can be achieved in different ways, though the use of digital recorders has become quite common and made the process somewhat easier. Someone can use a digital voice recorder to record comments, such as those made during a business meeting or in a boardroom. This digital recording can then be sent to someone else who creates a voice transcription of the recording, which is emailed back to the original client.

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One of the most common uses of voice transcription services is for the medical industry. Doctors, for example, can record verbal notes during a patient’s examination, which are then sent away and transcribed into a text document. The identity of the patient is not revealed in this type of transcription, in order to preserve the patient's privacy. Autopsies may also be performed in this way; the medical examiner speaks into a microphone during the procedure and this recording is later transcribed. Voice transcription can also be performed on recordings made during surgery, which provides a lasting record in case of mishap or a malpractice lawsuit.

The legal industry also utilizes voice transcription services. A lawyer might make verbal notes while researching a particular legal precedent, and then have those notes transcribed at a later time. In law, however, transcription can also refer to the process by which notes are taken in a courtroom, which occurs in real time and uses a different method.

Voice transcription can be achieved in a number of different ways. The most common and accurate method is for someone to listen to a recording and transcribe it into a text document, often pausing or rewinding as needed to ensure accuracy. Voice recognition software, however, has been developed that can recognize voices and automatically create a transcription from a recording. These talk-to-text methods are still being perfected, however, and may create inaccuracies that could be dangerous or irresponsible for the medical or legal fields.

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