Greater emphasis needed on grammar and spelling, according to leading transcription provider

Apple Transcription has highlighted the importance of ramping up the skills of future industry professionals, so they are equipped to produce admissible evidence.

Directors Christine Vaughan and Dorothy Roberts are encouraging the education sector and training providers to place a greater emphasis on grammar and spelling to safeguard the profession.

The company produces transcripts which are of evidential quality, such as relaying police and security personnel’s bodycam footage to capture criminal events for a court of law.

Co-director of the company Christine wants to see increased focus on teaching essential skills to ensure the workforce is equipped for these roles.

She explains that despite advances in artificial intelligence (AI), not having an expert human transcriber will compromise evidence.

She said: “AI for speech-to-text is not always precise enough to insert the correct punctuation, which can result in the meaning completely changing if, for example, a comma is missing.

“This is where the importance of having a human touch comes in. There is an industry-wide need for professionals with excellent attention to detail, as the record must mirror the real-life event.

“Our niche is producing evidence that AI can’t replace such as a written account of body cam and PACE footage, where there are often multiple speakers, and there is a requirement to transcribe non-verbal actions.

“I’d love to see a greater emphasis on accuracy within the education sector, as it is business-critical to have people with these skills.”

As part of its recruitment process, the company ensures all employees go through a vigorous test to ensure they are equipped to produce admissible transcripts.

Co-director Dorothy added: “Digital natives have grown up on laptops and tablets, and due to features like autocorrect, they are potentially concentrating less when using them.

“Alongside a better focus on teaching these key skills, aspiring professionals should recognise the importance of learning them to secure employment.

“AI can be valuable to grasp the basic meaning of a conversation, but it’s not at the stage where we can rely on it for accuracy, so we still need to have qualified professionals coming through the doors.”

Apple Transcription handles data for bodycam footage securely through a cloud-based system, which is reviewed frequently.

For more than a decade, the company has retained its International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001 Quality and 27001 Data Security certifications, in addition to its Cyber Essentials accreditation.

Contact the Apple Transcription team here.