The Importance of Speech Recognition in the Courtroom

Speech recognition in court in Seattle, WA may not have evolved to the point of being able to create a reliable transcript on its own, but it has its benefits. It is gaining importance in courtrooms around the country as it evolves. While some people may see it as quirky or inconvenient, it is likely to become more essential as the technology improves. Here are four reasons why it maintains its importance:

  • Closed captioning: Accessibility gains more importance as accommodating disabled citizens becomes a larger priority, and courtrooms are no exception. Closed captioning allows jurors a better way to follow court trials if they are deaf or hard of hearing. Litigants with hearing limitations can follow their cases better by reading captions on a screen. The accuracy of closed captioning is not as stringent as with a transcript, but it makes participation easier for those with physical or mental disabilities.
  • Transcription: The most labor-intensive element of creating deposition or court transcripts is the actual transcription. Court reporter equipment allows for quicker transcription in real time, but it still requires substantial effort. Speech recognition can create a basic transcript while a human operator makes corrections and proofreads the product. While this process takes longer than when an editor proofreads a human-made transcript, it saves time on the actual transcription.
  • Improved AI development: The early versions of transcription software were full of quirks. Software was not good at adapting to accents or verbal habits, and often produced products that needed substantial editing. For many offices, it was not good enough to justify abandoning traditional transcription. However, the more this technology is used, the better it becomes. Voice recognition now learns to adapt to people and becomes more accurate as a result. As mentioned above, while this cannot be depended upon to create complete court transcriptions, it helps us move in that direction.
  • Reduced labor costs: All county and federal systems are looking to cut costs, and courtrooms are not immune. The justice system already employs a large number of people, and that aspect will likely never change. However, using AI to create closed captions rather than hiring an additional transcriptionist or making court reporters function more as editors than transcription workers leads to a savings of labor and time costs. The AI can do the rote work while humans can focus on tasks involving communication with the public and creative judgment.

Courtrooms embrace advanced technology through electronic discovery, network connections and large monitors for litigants to present PowerPoint or video exhibits. It is only a matter of time before AI and speech recognition play larger roles. That is why the answer to the question, “Is speech recognition important in court?” is always going to be yes, even while the technology is in its early stages.

Efficiency, Inc. provides dictation and transcription solutions, including speech recognition, in Seattle, WA. As speech recognition in court grows, so will our service offerings for transcripts and closed captioning. Contact us today to find the solution for your office and join the AI revolution.

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