How Voice Recognition Errors Affect Captions

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How Voice Recognition Errors Affect Captions

The more you use CapTel, the more likely you are to see odd words occasionally sneaking into your captioned conversations, words that don’t seem to fit with what was being said at all: your neighbor talking about the “crunch sale” he’s having over the weekend; being told to “leave a message at the sound of the town,” or being asked, “Howard cue viewing?” when you could have sworn you heard, “How are you doing?” These are examples of the kinds of errors that may occur during a CapTel call. While they don’t happen often, captioning errors can be confusing at times.

CapTel captions are provided by computerized voice recognition technology, which sets the CapTel phone apart from traditional relay systems. Instead of typing, a Communications Assistant (CA) is actually speaking the words your caller says into a computer, which “translates” what the CA says into the captions that you see on your CapTel display screen.

Because captions are sent “live,” the only way to fix errors is after-the-fact. Have you ever encountered words in arrow brackets, ? Those are corrections. When a CA spots an error, he or she makes corrections as quickly as possible, so that the CapTel user can see the correction while the error is still visible (making it easier to figure out what was really being said). A sentence with an error and subsequent correction might look like this: “I will meet you at the vest want at 1:30 <restaurant>” In this example, the words “vest want” are errors, corrected in arrow brackets as “<restaurant>.”

If a word or words are consistently being captioned incorrectly, especially if a call is very fast, involves multiple speakers (as in a conference call), or contains many unusual words or phrases, you may want to ask whomever you are speaking with to clarify, “spell out” certain words, or simply slow down slightly to allow the CapTel CA to make any needed corrections in a timely manner.

Errors may also occur because of “line noise,” or interference somewhere along the signal path. If a call is proceeding with no captions or erratic captions, or if you see “(static)” appear on your display, it could be that the CA is not receiving audio, or that there is interference hindering the captioning process.

If you receive a captioned call with numerous errors, corrected or not, please contact CapTel Customer Service. Make a note of the date and time of the call, and use the “Reviewing Captions” feature of your CapTel Phone, as outlined in your CapTel User Manual. Scroll up so that you can see the number of the CA handling the call, as indicated by “CA#xxxx” in the display. This information will help us trace and correct any problems, so that we may provide the best possible service for our valued CapTel customers.

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