NY Times Listening Table for Interview Transcription
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There are many software and applications available for taking notes and organizing information automatically. A note-taking table invented by the New York Times is the latest entrant to this league. Given the name ‘Listening Table’, this is an augmented piece of furniture that hears and understands the conversations going on around it and produces transcripts of interviews or conferences at the end of the meeting. In other words, this smart conference table does automatic transcribing in a much better manner.
The New York Times reports that the Listening Table uses custom, advanced speech recognition software and high-resolution sensors to understand the conversations. With a dynamic microphone at the center and paired with a single pixel thermal camera, it detects from where each voice originates so as to pair it with a name later at the time of transcription. The custom speech-processing software produces a word-for-word record of the interviews or conferences as well as the semantic overview that involves what topics were discussed, in what order and by whom. Embedded, indirect lighting reveals to the passers-by that the Table is functioning without distracting them.
There are recessive capacitive strips or simply touch pads on the tabletop, which allow the participant to drop a marker during the meeting. To be more specific, if the participant touches the touchpad, everything said 30 seconds before and after the marker was touched will be highlighted on the transcript. When the participant moves the hand away, the transcription process will go on normally. This will help to quickly note the significant moments of the meeting. Once the meeting ends, a high-level summary digest will be shown with all topics discussed, markers dropped and recordings available. This summary shows up even when the entire meeting gets erased from the storage.
Manual Transcription Still Relevant
Though the Listening Table is a truly innovative transcription tool, manual transcription is still relevant. The device has a simple “off” switch that ensures nothing is recorded even accidentally. So, it is very important to remain alert to ensure that this switch is not turned on during the meeting. Secondly, all transcripts get deleted from the Table automatically every 28 days. You should take note of that also.
Human intervention is still quite important when it comes to transcribing conferences or interviews. Transcription service providers do not simply convert your recordings into standardized text format, but review the transcripts for errors and omissions to give you highly accurate documents. Such reliable transcripts can help you take informed decisions and develop effective strategies for your business.
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