Why do we still need stenographers?
We sometimes get asked if our profession is necessary with the technological advances that have been made over the past few years. Some people argue that the voice to text technology that is available now could be used as a replacement option. While we understand the theory, we would like to explain just a few of the reasons why court reporting is still an important element to a case.
First of all, the speech recognition software that exists is good when the person speaking does so slowly and clearly. Think of it this way, you don't speak to Siri on your iPhone the way you talk to your friends, family, or coworkers.
Most of the voice to text technology needs some sort of "facemask" to isolate the speech being captured. Noise in the room, multiple people speaking at the same time, or just a witness speaking too fast or too soft could cause major issues.
The next major reason for utilizing a trained stenographer is that the audio/video recordings are going to have to be transcribed in the the future to make them searchable. While this could be done after the fact, the transcriber does not have a way to resolve a question if something went unheard or was mumbled. When a court reporter is in the room, they have an opportunity to resolve the question in real time, which would be impossible if they waited to transcribe the tapes later.
Lastly, transcripts created by a stenographer are certified as they are considered officers of the court. Audio and video are not considered official court records. While audio and video are important components and helpful in certain types of cases, they cannot replace the work done by an experienced and certified court reporter.