Fast transcription of unstructured audio recordings

Sept. 1, 2009

Brandon C. Roy


We introduce a new method for human-machine collaborative speech transcription that is significantly faster than existing transcription methods. In this approach, automatic audio processing algorithms are used to robustly detect speech in audio recordings and split speech into short, easy to transcribe segments. Sequences of speech segments are loaded into a transcription interface that enables a human transcriber to simply listen and type, obviating the need for manually finding and segmenting speech or explicitly controlling audio playback. As a result, playback stays synchronized to the transcriber’s speed of transcription. In evaluations using naturalistic audio recordings made in everyday home situations, the new method is up to 6 times faster than other popular transcription tools while preserving transcription quality.

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