Real-time transcription is the process of typing live speech as soon as it is spoken. This process is in contrast with transcribing recorded audio. One of the most common examples of this type of transcription happens in a courtroom.

Court reporters, or stenographers, are responsible for verbatim transcription of court proceedings. They do so by utilizing real-time transcription software and specialized keyboards. Increasing attention on accessibility for video and audio content has led to a need for real-time transcription in broader contexts.

Types Of Real-Time Transcription

In addition to courtrooms and other legal settings, real-time transcription now appears in many common venues.

For instance, broadcasting live feeds through the internet is becoming increasingly popular. As such, many companies that publish content such as podcasts, webinars, and press conferences employ transcription services to produce text transcripts of their programs. These records are also essential to providing an accurate report of company activities.

Likewise, transcription is in demand for television and entertainment industries. Sporting events, news shows, and special broadcasts use real-time transcription called captioning to improve the experience for viewers.

While broadcasting, television, and entertainment certainly provide a large share of real-time transcription, there are other practical uses of transcription. For example, educational institutions often require transcription services for students with disabilities. Additionally, companies of all sizes and industries produce printed transcripts of audio and video recording.

Transcription Innovation

Transcription may appear to be a straightforward process. However, the skill involved in human-produced real-time transcription is extensive. Technological innovation makes transcription more widely available. Today, many modern transcription services make use of artificial intelligence (AI) to recognize speech and transform it into text.


Using artificial intelligence software is valuable for users in need of real-time transcription. AI software increases accuracy. Also, AI programs produce transcripts faster than human-based transcription. Here are additional examples of how such programs are used:

  • Live videos captioned real time
  • Live captions for conferences, events, and other speaking engagements
  • Business meetings, phone calls, and training sessions instantly transcribed for archiving
  • On-location transcription for emergency briefing and announcements

Businesses can also consider other uses for transcription, such as

  • Monitoring customer support calls
  • Producing analytics based on text transcripts
  • Typing using voice commands
  • Archiving and indexing for easy retrieval using keywords
real-time transcription on phone
Photo by Joey Huang on Unsplash

Speech recognition technology will evolve in the years to come. Even tech giants like Google are already capitalizing on the convenience and benefits of AI transcription.

Indeed, manual transcription using a person is still a reliable solution for providing real-time transcription. However, there is no doubt that AI is transforming live transcription for the better.