The questions repeatedly asked to the court reporter: Is AI taking over your job? Why don’t you just record legal proceedings?
While artificial intelligence is a technology growing in many fields, the court reporting industry is just not the best fit. Imagine for a moment being accused of a heinous crime that you did not commit. Imagine for a moment a heinous crime committed against you or a family member. Would you want a recording to be taking down testimony that could make the final decision in the rule of law in either of these situations?
With the difficulty of defining street slang, heavy accents, and even made-up words, the human factor is the only way for clarification to ensure a clean record of a proceeding. Add in the inevitable white noise, interruptions, people speaking simultaneously, and even recording failures and, once again, the human factor is a must for a precise record.
What about cost, is it cheaper to record a proceeding versus paying for a live court reporter?
- The initial cost of the recording may be less expensive, but now there is the additional transcription service fees. When recordings need to be put in written form, i.e., a transcript, the recording is a separate service charge. Transcription fees can be costly and oftentimes include inaudible or undiscernible parentheticals that can be devastating to a court case.
- Entire trials have suffered because of recording failure. The trial must be redone. No cost savings there.
What about confidentiality?
- Sensitive and confidential testimony must also be addressed with artificial intelligence technology. To save money, audio recordings may be sent overseas for low-rate transcription. Is this a wise decision with confidential information? Certainly not a good way to protect classified or protected material.
- There are times in a legal proceeding where parties in the case request to go off the record. What happens when artificial intelligence continues recording off-the-record discussions? Private conversations can be exposed!
Artificial intelligence has been an incredible advancement in many industries, but there is still a human factor that simply cannot be replaced in some areas, court reporting is one of them. Perhaps if humans spoke robotically, one at a time with no interferences, then AI can be effective. In an adversarial setting such as courtroom or deposition testimony, robotic speaking is never the method of conversation. In fact, robotic speaking just does not exist in even normal conversation.
Live certified court reporters continue to be the preferred choice of taking down testimony, whether it be in court or in a deposition or even in an arbitration setting, it is the only way to ensure the integrity of the record.
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