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The Evolution of Transcription: From Edison's Phonograph to Modern Applications


Transcription, the process of converting spoken language into a written form, has a rich story that spans centuries.


Edison's phonograph marked a groundbreaking development in audio technology. Initially a means of preserving and playing back music, the phonograph paved the way for the evolution of transcription.


As technology advanced, transcription methods expanded. In the early stages, transcription was done manually by individuals transcribing audio recordings.


With the advent of typewriters and stenography, the efficiency of transcription improved. Secretaries recorded documents in shorthand and typed them. A lost skill! Or listened to Dictaphone tapes with headphones and transcribed them from the spoken word whispered into their ears, winding and fast forwarding, and perhaps saving them on floppy discs.


With the digital era, voice recognition software emerged, helping individuals with hearing impairments. Today, transcription creates subtitles for videos, records meetings and interviews, medical charting, etc. - its applications are vast and varied. Transcriptionists are experts with real time Scribe, editing of voice recognition texts, and audio files spoken into phones, transcribed on a computer and sent to the client’s computer as a digital file. The paperless office is here!


What began as a novel invention by Thomas Edison has blossomed into a tool that plays a vital role in spoken language and modern communication.


What will Artificial Intelligence bring us next? AI has helped to formulate this post, but we still need the human touch. AI transcription is promising, but human transcriptionists are key to unlocking its full potential.


In the deep of night I wonder, though, how much longer will your transcriptionist have a warm body and nimble human fingers?


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