AI Court Reporters? No, Human Court Reporters Are The Only Viable Choice.

artificial intelligence AI legal technology

AI Court Reporters? No, Human Court Reporters Are The Only Viable Choice.

Here at Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting, we occasionally hear the thought expressed that there is no need for human court reporters. “Why not use artificial intelligence?” After all, supposedly, audio and video are “less expensive, “more efficient,” and computer artificial intelligence programs have become good at translating words into text and then producing a transcript of the deposition, hearing, or trial proceedings. However, those things are not true. Legal proceedings are human proceedings and human court reporters are the only viable choice. Let’s take a closer look at the severe limitations of AI court reporters.

Court Reporting Services Have Evolved With the Technology.

But, first, let’s dispense with the idea that human court reporters are not using audio recordings. Court reporting services have evolved with the technology. Every good court reporting service uses audio recording to supplement the stenotyping of the court reporter. If you have been in a court proceeding or a deposition, you have seen this. The court report is stenotyping and there is a microphone and a recording device on the table or the court’s bench. Before it is finalized, the accuracy of the transcript is verified by listening to the audio recording. So, audio recordings are already being used by court reporters.

The Human Touch Matters in Human Proceedings.

Next, let’s understand the purpose of a transcript — to fully, accurately, and faithfully transcribe into text every single spoken word as said by those who are speaking. Human court reporters can ensure this goal is achieved — AI court reporters cannot. Let’s take a simple example. Imagine a hotly disputed divorce case. Today is the deposition of the wife and the case involves allegations of adultery by the husband. At some point, in answer to a question, the wife stands up and shouts: “Then he had sexual relations with that woman!”

An AI court reporter would blithely continue recording. By contrast, a human court reporter would know that an emotional storm was about to overtake the deposition room. An AI court reporter would just continue to record while the human people in the room began shouting, overtalking, and making it impossible to get any sort of accurate transcript. A human court reporter would politely intervene, gain the attention of the attorneys in the room, and bring them back to the legal understanding that an accurate transcript cannot be obtained in such a situation. The attorneys would remember the practical and legal purposes of the transcript, bring order to the room, and backtrack with questions and answers to ensure a useful and accurate deposition transcript. The example shows that the human touch matters in human proceedings.

AI Hallucinations and Guessing Can Impact Accuracy of the Transcript

The other problem with AI and machine learning software is that they use “guessing” and pattern recognition to “fill in” blanks. If the audio recording is not clear, an AI court reporter will guess since its programming tells it to generate a satisfactory sentence. Did the witness say “in” or “on?” It does not matter to the AI court reporter. The AI program will evaluate 100s or 1000s of similar sentences that have been fed into its programming and will “guess” as to which is more likely based on pattern recognition and statistics. A human court reporter will not do this. A human reporter will find out what the witness actually said.

For these and many other reasons, human court reporters are the only viable option.

Contact Us Today

For more information, call the experienced court reporters at Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting. We follow the best practices in order to provide excellent litigation support to our customers. Contact us today to learn about our services and how we can help you.


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