Skip to content

AI vs Human Transcription for Speech-To-Text Services: Which Is More Accurate?

Illustration of a group of people watching an indie film in a theatre, on the screen is a robot and a red haired man

RevBlogTranscription BlogAI vs Human Transcription for Speech-To-Text Services: Which Is More Accurate?

In order to ensure you have the most accurate meaning of audio in text form, it’s extremely important to pay close attention to transcription accuracy. How can someone determine if a transcript is accurate or inaccurate?

Transcription accuracy rates give insight into the percentage of error a transcript can have per word count. For example, a transcription accuracy of 99% means there is a 1% chance of errors per every 1,500 words or about 15 errors.

99% accuracy = 1% chance of errors. Or, about 15 errors every 1,500 words.

What are some of the key characteristics of an accurate transcription? Clarity and nuance play a huge role. If readers can’t understand the written text or if certain words aren’t the correct spelling, the intended message can be unclear, diminish in meaning, or even be inaccurate. This will not only confuse your viewers but having inaccurate information could lead to a loss of trust in your company and even a loss in sales – both huge consequences!

With free services through social media platforms (Facebook and YouTube to name two), computer software, and human transcriptionists, there are plenty of ways for you to turn your video into text. But do you need a human to get it right or can AI do just as well? We encourage you to understand everything about transcription accuracy before you make any decisions, so let’s dive right in!

AI Speech Recognition Transcription Accuracy  

What exactly is a transcription? Transcriptions are the text form of an audio file whether it’s from a recorded interview or a video. Typically, transcripts include the words you hear along with more details such as background noises, pauses in dialogue, or music. Text transcriptions allow the viewer to read and fully comprehend audio in a text format. This is especially important for those who are hard of hearing or deaf, and for situations where it’s inappropriate to listen with the sound on.

How does AI integrate with audio transcription? AI technology is a speech recognition software that translates audio to text. There are a variety of tools that you’re probably already familiar with that use this kind of speech-to-text technology. Some examples include auto-captions on YouTube, talk-to-text on your smartphone, and dictation on your computer or tablet.

AI transcription and speech-to-text apps have improved drastically.

It’s actually quite amazing how AI technologies and their ability to transcribe accurately keeps getting better and better. In fact, we can actually celebrate just how far this technology has come over the last few years!

AI speech recognition has come a long way. However, one of the drawbacks is that this software only learns after a mistake is made and corrected. This technology will take time to understand nuance or slang language that is often found in audio files. Additionally, people find that the transcription accuracy isn’t at the standard 99% rate.

Automatic transcription and speech-to-text services are much cheaper, though. If you can sacrifice accuracy for affordability, AI-powered transcription might be the way to go. You can get free automated transcription to try it out yourself.

Human-Powered Transcription Accuracy 

Unlike AI, human transcription is completed with real people who listen to an audio file and convert it to text. When choosing humans for transcription accuracy, you’ll tend to get far more accurate results. Why? Humans are capable of understanding more than AI.

This is especially helpful for those who are in the legal field or completing market research for a big product launch. One error or mistake in a transcript could be very damaging and costly for a company. Using humans will ensure the audio to text files are as accurate as possible. 

The only drawbacks with using humans for transcription vs AI, is time and money.

Humans simply can’t transcribe a complete text file in real-time, unlike AI programs that can do it within minutes. With humans, you can expect a higher level of accuracy which will allow your time to be freed up so you can focus on more important items such as growing your business.

If time is of the essence for your project, there are some shorthand options available, but in order to make those files shareable, they need to be reviewed with a critical eye to ensure a high level of transcription accuracy.

Priorities to Consider when Transcribing Audio to Text 

There’s not really a right or wrong answer when it comes to using either an automated service or a human transcriptionist for transcribing audio to text. It all comes down to your priorities and workflow.

Why Choose Automated Transcription Software?

Most companies will choose AI if a transcript is needed immediately, they are dealing with a limited budget, and only need a rough draft of the text. AI is also great for audio that is crisp, clear, and has 1-2 speakers. 

Plus, if you or someone in your company is already planning on editing the transcription, AI is the right choice as it won’t break your budget and the editor won’t have to start from scratch.

Who should use AI speech recognition?

Typically, the people who use AI the most and have great success with it are journalists, college and graduate students, radio personalities, and podcasters. AI can even help out those professionals recording and transcribing meeting notes.

Who has the most accurate AI speech recognition? ran an analysis showing that the engine, which is used in all and automatic transcription products, outperformed Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Speechmatics in Word Error Rate.

This analysis used all five speech recognition engines to transcribe about 30 hours of podcast content and compared the results:

Rev has also created developer tools so that companies can run their own similar analyses and compare the accuracy of any speech recognition on the market. You can find those developer tools here.

Why Choose Human Transcription Services?

Why do companies choose an expert human transcriptionist vs. a speech-to-text software? By using a human, they receive a transcript that has 99% or better transcription accuracy, better clarity, and flexible prices.

Additionally, you’ll want to choose human transcription if you don’t have time to spend on editing, need to publicly publish it immediately, or need to pull quotes for an interview or online article. Human transcription is also ideal for audio with thick accents, multiple speakers, or heavy background noise. Regardless of the audio file, humans will definitely have an easier time navigating through nuances like this than an AI program would. Trusting in a human means you’ll have fewer errors and won’t have to spend as much time editing.

Who Typically Uses Human Transcription? 

A variety of companies rely solely on human transcription. Some examples include video production companies, market research firms, education, and legal. The high transcription accuracy is what makes these industries use human transcription over other options.

Free Dictation Tools Powered by Speech Recognition 

Whether you choose to use AI transcription software or a computer dictation tool, there are a variety of apps that can aid in success.

If you’re a fan of Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or Apple Pages—all have some amazing tools and compatibilities to help aid in AI transcription. 

It’s important to note that’s speech recognition engine has performed better than some of the biggest names in the tech industry.

Google Docs

Google Docs now has a speech-to-text feature when accessing it on the web through Google Chrome. This new feature is called voice typing, and can be found by clicking on tools in the top menu and scrolling down to “voice typing”. You can also press ctrl+shift+s at the same time, and you’ll see a microphone appear. Simply click on the microphone and start talking. 

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word 360 also has a speech-to-text tool. Open up Microsoft Word, click edit in the top menu, and then click ‘start dictation’ in the sub-menu.

It is important to make sure your computer’s microphone is set up before using either Google Docs or Microsoft’s speech-to-text tool.

Apple Pages

Apple Pages offers the ability to dictate speech to text in its word processing app.

In Pages, go to Edit, Speech, and click Start Speaking. You can also double-tap the Fn key on your keyboard to turn on the Mac dictation tool.

Voice Notes

Another tool that we love is voice notes. This app can be downloaded to any smartphone and is easy to use so you can virtually use this anywhere, especially on-the-go. This app does allow for export and import of audio files in addition to sharing files on Google Drive.

Speech-to-Text Services With the Best Accuracy

If you need to transcribe audio files, videos, or any recorded media with more than one speaker, you should consider using paid transcription services. Whether AI or human, both services will offer better accuracy and editing capabilities than the free tools above.

Automated Transcription

You can transcribe your audio in minutes for a very affordable price with our automated transcription service.

Rev’s speech recognition engine offers 80-90% accuracy, 5-minute turnaround time, and for only $0.25 a minute of audio.

Human Transcription

You can order transcription services from professional, human transcriptionists on

Human transcription boasts 99% accuracy, 12-hour turnaround, at only $1.25 per minute of audio. This makes it one of the most affordable accurate solutions available.

Call Recorder App and Voice Recorder App

With mobile apps like the call recorder and the voice recorder, you can place your transcription orders from anywhere.

Doing Audio Transcription Yourself

While you might argue that getting the job done yourself is the only way to do it right and for free, you might have not considered the disadvantages of doing your own transcription:

  • Transcribing takes time away from other projects
  • You’ll probably make more mistakes than professional transcriptionists

However, if you prefer to do your own transcribing, we have some tools that can help.

Foot Pedal

A foot pedal can come in handy to help control the audio. Also known as a WAV pedal, this tool is set up so your feet can rewind, pause, and play the audio. This allows your hands to focus on typing only, which can help to speed up the process. 


Another tool that’s well worth the investment is purchasing high-quality headphones. A top-notch pair will drown out any background noise that you are experiencing at work and will provide you with crisp, clear audio – cutting down on the rewinding and relistening process. 

If you want to make human transcribing enjoyable, the key is to have an ergonomic chair. Qualities of this chair include lower back support, encourages good posture, helps to prevent muscle fatigue, and supports proper blood circulation. Plus, it’s so comfortable, you’ll almost believe that you’re at home on your couch wrapped up in a robe.


No matter how you’re converting audio to text, Grammarly will be your best friend. Being one of the top grammar checkers in the world, Grammarly can be installed as a Chrome extension. When it runs, it will highlight errors in red. Plus, this tool will also give suggestions on how to fix errors so you can rest assured that your text is grammar error-free, but not necessarily high transcription accuracy.

Our Mission For Transcription Accuracy

Here at Rev, we do know that your time is precious. While we applaud you for wanting to transcribe yourself, but sometimes there are simply not enough hours in the day.

That’s why you should hire a reputable transcription company. With straightforward and simple pricing, our company can use either automated transcription or human transcription to provide you with a very accurate and clean final text transcript.

While both AI vs. human transcription options have positives, it all comes down to how you plan to use your transcript to determine which route makes the most sense. Time, budget, and transcription accuracy will all play a factor in your decision process.

While this article touches on the importance of accurate transcribing, we encourage you to learn more about Rev and our dedication to delivering accurate transcripts. Utilizing our services means you can choose from our AI technology or humans. Whichever you decide to use, our team guarantees that you’ll receive a top-quality transcript with a fast turnaround time for an incredible price. Don’t wait, learn more about our audio transcripts today.

Affordable, fast transcription. 100% Guaranteed.