If you've ever considered a career as a court reporter, you may be wondering whether new technology is poised to render many court reporting jobs obsolete or redundant. Fortunately, most of the country's court reporters are quickly adapting and making this technology work for them (as well as for litigants).
Read on to learn more about how advancements in voice recognition and transcribing software are making the court reporting process quicker, cheaper, and more accurate, as well as what those who are interested in court reporting should do to adapt to this changing market:
Speech-to-text transcribing systems
If you have a newer-model smartphone, you may already take advantage of the speech-to-text capability -- allowing you to dictate a text message or email while using your hands for other tasks. In many cases, after frequent usage and corrections, your voice-to-text application will be able to accurately type even unusual names or non-dictionary words.
The voice-to-text technology used in court reporting is even more accurate, and can account for changes in speaking voice. For example, if an attorney is questioning a witness, this software will usually be able to distinguish between the two voices and label each portion of the interaction appropriately.
One of the biggest hassles for court reporters is the inability to perform work at home or away from the court office without toting around heavy transcription equipment or flash drives containing confidential court proceedings.
However, a number of software development companies have developed online portals that allow court reporters to securely access the audio recording of the proceedings from anywhere with an internet connection and type the transcript on a normal keyboard.
For large transcripts or lengthy cases, court reporters can also electronically request backup -- the software will then allow another court reporter or group of reporters to access the transcript. All are able to keep tabs on where the others are in the transcription process. This allows transcripts to be prepared quickly, with no duplication of effort.
Should court reporters worry about losing their jobs due to changing technology?
Some labor statisticians have put forth a hypothesis that as courtroom technology continues to advance, those employed as court reporters will become "court technologists." Rather than simply taking responsibility for typing or using shorthand to provide a written record of court proceedings.
These employees will be in charge of running computer and projector equipment to allow the judge and jury to see evidence, setting up recording software to ensure that the proceeding is audio or video recorded, and proofreading the speech-to-text transcripts and making changes and additions as needed.
In most cases, these technologist jobs should pay the same (or possibly even more) than court reporting jobs, and will provide employees with a much more varied and challenging work day. To learn more, contact a company like G & M Court Reporters & Video with any questions or concerns you have.