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In the age of smartphones, it’s a common occurrence. Instead of typing out a text, you use Siri or Alexa and dictate your message. Sometimes your digital assistant gets it right, but sometimes (many times), she gets it wrong. This can create issues that are frustrating.

This misunderstood voice-to-text message might not be a big deal for day-to-day affairs. But in court, these words matter, and even one mistake in messaging can make or break a case.

It’s this reason that court reporters strongly dispute the notion that voice-to-text technology or other artificial intelligence could replace them in a courtroom. Even in the age of a pandemic that forced court proceedings into the digital world, reporters insist that a human element is needed to create an accurate record.

That being said, digital recording is growing, and it’s more than likely here to stay. But, according to some, there’s a middle ground to be found: embracing technology to increase efficiency while also relying on humans for nuance.


COVID-19 Changes

Once the pandemic came, it forced the entire legal industry, reporters included, into a virtual environment. That transition created new responsibilities for reporters.

Reporters have always had “officiating duties,” such as administering oaths to witnesses in court and depositions. But the move to virtual proceedings has created more nuance in that role. Attorneys took to Zoom quickly because of the convenience the platform provides.


The Human Element

There are two main reporting methods: traditional stenographic reporting and digital reporting. These methods play the same role but with different tools. The traditional method translates proceedings from stenography into English for a transcript, while the latter translates digital audio directly into a transcript.

Digital recording is useful from an efficiency perspective, though lawyers need to hire a stenographic reporter if they want the level of efficiency provided by real-time reporting. But there is a “misunderstanding” in the industry as to the role digital technology can play in producing a transcript.

Also is the issue of differing dialects. A non-native English speaker testifying in a medical malpractice case might pronounce the word “skeletal” as skee-lee-tal, and voice-to-text technology would capture the word in that manner. A reporter, however, would know that the witness meant “skeletal” and would transcribe accordingly.

If you need court reporting services that handle digital recording then which supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

Although the majority of cities that offer CourtScribes’ services are in Florida, the company home base, other cities all across these United States that CourtScribes offers services in, are the following: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral, Coral Springs, Clearwater, Palm Bay, Fort Myers, Weston, Sarasota, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Stuart, Hollywood, Naples, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Jupiter, Key West, Coral Gables, Maryland, Manhattan, Buffalo, Washington DC, Baltimore, Bowie, Virginia, Frederick, Albany, New York, Brooklyn,  Westchester, Gaithersberg, and Rockville.