Otter-ly amazing note taking

Otter.JPGTranscribing recordings is one of the most tedious and dreaded tasks. One minute of voice recording can take three or more minutes to transcribe and that’s not talking about recordings that are hard to make out or filled with background noise.

I’ve done this during my air traffic control days when I had to listen to taped transmissions and write down word for word what was communicated between the controller and pilot.

Later on, I had to do this when taking minutes during meetings and as a journalist when playing back interviews.

It is no wonder then that I was intrigued when I read about Otter, a smart note taking software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to transcribe conversations.

Ten months on and I feel that this app is worthy of a review.

Developed by US-based AISense, the graphics processing unit (GPU)-powered app  records speech and transcribes on the fly when connected to a wireless network. Just looking at the voice-to-text makes me leap with joy.

It’s not 100 percent correct, probably around 70 percent (though the company claims that it’s 90 percent), but that itself saves lots of time. Reasons why it cannot get it fully correct may be because of sound volume or quality, slurring, mispronunciation, or accent.

Otter is free on iOS, Android and the web and comes with 600 minutes of free recording each month. If you need more, you will have to subscribe to a premium plan.

As one who does a fair bit of voice recording, Otter is utterly amazing. It’s a time saver and a dream come true.

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