AI has a large number of different use cases, but one in particular has a big advantage as it can be used by almost all professionals and is available as a SaaS-product: transcriptions. As meetings became virtual during the lockdown caused by the pandemic, there was an immediate need to switch to a smarter tool to take notes during the meeting or transcribe a meeting.
There are companies offering transcription as a service for some time now. However, these platforms found a newfound interest and they are now set to become a mainstay in our lives. The best transcription service uses speech-to-text and relies on AI for voice recognition. While AI is common, some services also offer manual review processes for increased accuracy.
There are also services that are capable of recognising multiple speakers and transcribing the conversation based on speakers. When it comes to choosing a transcription service, the choice boils down to cost, accuracy, language options and how integrated the platform is with other services.
AI transcription are not just used to transcribe virtual meetings. Journalists can use it to find key moments in interviews, recruiters can transcribe their conversations, podcasters have their shows written down automatically and marketeers and videographers can add instant subtitles to their creations to create more impact on social media.
With that out of the way, here are the best transcription and translation services powered by AI available right now.
Amberscript is an Amsterdam-based AI speech recognition startup that allows users to transform their audio and video to text and subtitles. It offers four services – automatic transcription, manual transcription, automatic subtitles and manual subtitles. While the automatic service is entirely powered by AI, the manual service uses humans to perfect your text and subtitles.
The startup uses natural language processing and AI models to offer transcription from any audio or video file. However, it differs from other platforms by combining technology, language and science for a more holistic experience. With industry-leading speed and accuracy, it is no surprise that Amberscript recently closed $10M Series A funding.
The automatic transcription and subtitles are available at $10 for each hour of audio or video uploaded. The manual transcription is available at $1.2 per minute of audio or video uploaded. The manual subtitles service is priced at $6.25 per minute of audio or video uploaded while translated subtitles start at $7 per minute.
Triple8 is another Dutch service that allows video creators to automatically add subtitles to their videos. With a name derived from the subtitling function of the television channels of public broadcaster NPO, Triple8 is one of those services that is clearly focused on one task – adding subtitles to videos. With videos becoming a cross border commodity, adding subtitles makes them accessible to a lot of users around the world.
With its platform, Triple8 wants to make subtitling videos easier and faster. It makes that possible by combining machine learning, AI and a combination of the best speech engines. The service is also compatible with video tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, iMovie and others. Apart from automatic AI subtitling, the service also allows users to translate in over 10 languages.
It also supports real-time collaboration and allows users to render and download straight from their video editing tool. With 85 per cent of videos watched without sound, Triple8 makes a no-brainer for those looking to add subtitles. While the service is free, Triple8 will add its own watermark to your video. To remove the watermark, you can subscribe to premium service priced at €4 for a minute or use professional service priced at €49,50 a month with unlimited minutes.
Born in an Airbnb in Florence, Italy, Trint comes with a clear goal of eliminating the frustration associated with manual transcription. Created by broadcast journalist Jeff Kofman, the service understands the pain of manual transcription and aims to simplify it by using AI and speech-to-text. While Trint uses AI to convert speech to text in seconds, it is powerful at finding the best parts of your audio and video content.
While services stop at transcribing your audio or video using AI, Trint goes a step further to search and leverage the valuable content hidden within your audio and video files. This is particularly useful for journalists and media professionals. Trint’s AI uses automated speech recognition (ASR) and natural language processing (NLP) to decipher the sounds that form part of a human speech. With a claimed accuracy of 99 per cent, Trint is in a league of its own.
With a dedicated editor called Trint Editor, the platform offers easy upload and features such as real-time transcription and vocab builder. It offers a free trial for 7 days and after that, the starter pack costs $60 a month and the annual plan is available at a 20 per cent discount. There are also Advanced and Pro Team options priced at $75 and $85 a month respectively.
Verbit is another major player in the AI-powered transcription market. With total funding of $550M and a valuation of $2B, the startup is a good example of an AI-powered transcription service reaching new customers as adoption of voice technologies became new normal during the pandemic. While Verbit sounds like any other voice transcription and captioning service, it differs with its adaptive speech recognition tech capable of achieving higher accuracy.
Verbit is simple to use with a dashboard where users can upload audio or video for AI-powered processing. Once the file is uploaded, a team edits the material while also considering the customer-supplied notes and guidelines. Verbit’s AI tech is capable of detecting domain-specific terms, filtering out background noise and echoes and transcribing speakers regardless of their accent. Once the transcript is generated, it can be exported to services like YouTube, Vimeo, and others.
The startup is not the typical transcription service and one that is offering transcription in the form of software-as-a-service. With its pricing on request and tailored services, it is the platform to choose for those with a very specific requirement.
The Internet has essentially erased borders and content produced in one part of the world can now be easily consumed in another part of the world. While the virtual borders are erased, the linguistic borders continue to exist. As a result, it is important to offer native language support for creators to reach a global audience in their own language. Smartling makes that possible.
Smartling is a language translation company founded in 2009 and it leverages a combination of AI-powered translation tools and human translators. The service uses automation to quickly translate content into different languages. The service immediately flags new content on customer sites and apps for translation and immediately sends the content to translators for rewriting. With Smartling, companies can translate their content for international users faster and do so without having to update the app or their backend.
It allows customers to pay based on their usage and offers discounts as their usage grows. With plans called Growth and Enterprise, Smartling makes for a smart choice for those looking to translate their content on the go without having to worry about informing the service provider or worrying about the cost.
Otter.ai needs no recognition in the world of AI-powered transcription. The service is widely used by individuals, professionals as well as big companies. Otter.ai is also one of those services that rely entirely on AI for producing transcription. It is fairly accurate and is also good at identifying individual speakers in its transcription.
With its drag and drop nature, Otter.ai makes for a very easy to use experience. It also now offers integration with Zoom wherein the meeting is transcribed in real-time. In addition, to live transcription, Otter.ai also offers live note-taking for collaboration. Otter Live Notes is available only to its Business users.
Otter recently announced major changes to its plans. The free plan is still available but it is now limited to 600 minutes of transcription a month and individual transcription is limited to 30 minutes. It also offers a Pro subscription priced at $8.33 a month where users get custom vocabulary, advanced search and export features. With the Business plan priced at $20 a month, Otter offers advanced features such as Otter assistant for Zoom, Teams, 2FA and centralised billing.
Descript is another service designed with media creators in mind. It is essentially a super service combining multiple services like podcast editor, transcription service, screen recording and video editing. Whether you are a beginner podcaster or a vlogger or a marketing professional, Descript aims to cater to all with its suite of applications and services.
The transcription service from Descript is both automatic and human-powered. It offers speaker labels using its AI-powered speaker detective feature and allows for the creation of a web link, which can be shared for collaboration. It also offers a White Glove service with guaranteed 99 per cent accuracy using professional transcriptionists.
The AI system from Descript relies on natural language processing and speech-to-text technologies. The AI is constantly adapting and with every upload, it only gets faster and better. The free plan is available with 3 hours of transcription each month while the creator plan priced at $12 a month bumps it to 10 hours of transcription per month. You can also get Descript Pro with 30 hours of transcription per month at $24 a month.