AI Transcription software
Updated: April 14, 2021
2021. Microsoft is acquiring Nuance for $19.7B
Microsoft will acquire Nuance Communications, a leader in speech to text software, for $19.7 billion. The company says this was about increasing its presence in the healthcare vertical, a place where Nuance has done well in recent years. In fact, the company announced the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare last year, and this deal is about accelerating its presence there. Nuance’s products in this area include Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One and PowerScribe One for radiology reporting. Nuance has a number of products including Dragon Dictate, a consumer and business text to speech product that dates back to the early 1990s.
2021. Microsoft launches transcription and translation app for in-person meetings
While today there are a number of real-time transcription apps to use on your phone — like Otter.ai or Google’s Recorder app for Pixel devices, for example — Microsoft’s new Group Transcribe app reimagines meeting transcriptions as a more collaborative process, where everyone simultaneously records the meeting on their own device for higher accuracy. It also offers real-time translation for languages spoken in more than 80 distinct locales. The app, which is powered by AI speech and language technology, is able to transcribe with higher accuracy and speaker attribution based on the volume of the speaker captured by the microphone of each phone being used in the meeting.
2021. Meeting transcription service Otter.ai raises $50M
Over the past year or so, voice transcription startup Otter.ai doubled down on the future of remote work by integrating its product with meeting apps like Zoom and Google Meet. And now the service has raised $50 million Series B round of investment. The company has found some traction with businesses like professional services, pharmaceutical companies, financial services and other multinationals where employees work across time zones. Longer-term, Otter.ai aims to better serve its corporate use cases by extending beyond meeting transcripts into an area it likes to call “conversation intelligence.” Otter.ai’s service offers an easy way to record meetings, whether in-person through an app on your phone, or online through its integrations with popular web conferencing apps.
2020. Microsoft brings transcriptions to Word
Microsoft launched Transcribe in Word, its new transcription service for Microsoft 365 subscribers. It’s now available in the online version of Word, with other platforms launching later. In addition, Word is also getting new dictation features, which now allow you to use your voice to format and edit your text, for example. The new feature lets you transcribe speech, both live and pre-recorded, and then edit those transcripts right inside of Word. With this, the company goes head-to-head with startups like Otter and Google’s Recorder app, though they all have their own pros and cons. For now Transcribe in Word is English only and available only in paid Microsoft 365 accounts.
2020. Huddl.ai wants to bring more intelligence to online meetings
Huddl.ai is a startup that wants to bring a dose of artificial intelligence to online meeting technology. It uses AI tools to transcribe the meeting, pull out the salient points and help users understand what happened without poring over notes to find the key information in a long session. While current solutions (Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams) simply give you a link to a cloud room and everyone involved clicks and enters. Huddl wants to bring some more structure to that whole process.
2019. GoToMeeting improved AI-transcription in videoconferencing software
LogMeIn announced the new version of GoToMeeting, that focuses on delivering a simple, intuitive end-user experience, while giving IT even more control over deployment, management, and security. In this new release, GoToMeeting has launched a series of updates to improve the ease of the collaboration platform for IT and users before, during and after the meeting: completely reimagined video-first design (unified on all devices), unparalleled quality audio, real-time notes, AI-powered transcription. Hosts can now create multiple personal meeting rooms with custom branding for teams to jump in and collaborate instantly at any time. GoToMeeting has also updated its popular calendar plugins and integrations with Office 365 and Outlook, GSuite Calendar, Salesforce, and more and continues to support integrations with tools like Slack and Zoho.
2018. Microsoft added AI transcription to OneDrive and SharePoint
Microsoft is adding video and audio transcription capabilities to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint, making a range of digital content more easily accessible to users. The new feature will automatically create a full transcript of dialogue when viewing a video or listening to an audio file, using AI technology available in Microsoft Stream (formerly Office 365 Video). The text data will be stored in the Microsoft Cloud, which Microsoft claims can be cheaper and more secure than relying on third-party transcription tools. The new service will be made available to Office 365 subscribers later this year.
2018. Google Voice version for enterprise came to G Suite
Google is starting to roll out an enterprise version of its Google Voice service for G Suite users. Google voice has been a long-enjoyed service for everyday consumers, and offers a lot of benefits beyond just having a normal phone number. The enterprise version of Google Voice appears to give companies a way to offer those kinds of tools, including AI-powered parts of it like voicemail transcription, that employees may be already using and potentially skirting the guidelines of a company. Administrators can provision and port phone numbers, get detailed reports and set up call routing functionality. They can also deploy phone numbers to departments or employees, giving them a sort of universal number that isn’t tied to a device — and making it easier to get in touch with someone where necessary. There’s also a spam filtering feature, which will probably be useful in handling waves of robo-calls for various purposes.
2018. GoToMeeting added AI transcription, Amazon Alexa integration
LogMeIn has updated its GoToMeeting video and audio conference platform with new features that include a text chat function, AI transcription service and integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. The Business Messaging feature lets employees chat one-to-one or in groups with each other or with external clients using the new GoToMeeting desktop application or a standalone mobile app. Users can jump from a message thread directly into a video or audio conference with one click. The Smart Meeting Assistant transcribes meeting audio, storing the text in the cloud for subsequent sharing. This means that meeting attendees won’t need to worry about taking notes and can focus on discussions with colleagues.
2017. Box applied AI to content management
Box has just unveiled Skills and the related SDK, Skills Kit. With these new offerings, organizations and developers now have the ability to pull insights from their massive content stores in Box data sets and apply machine learning to release the intrinsic commercial value in that content. Box is previewing three initial Box Skills, using machine learning tools from Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure to solve common business use cases: Those use cases include: Image recognition (detecting individual objects and concepts in image files, capturing text through optical character recognition (OCR), and automatically adding keyword labels to images to easily build metadata on image catalogs), Audio Transcription & Analysis (uses audio files to create and index a text transcript that can be easily searched and manipulated in a variety of use cases), Video Indexing (analyzes video files to provide text transcription, topic detection and indexing, and facial recognition).
2017. GoDaddy launched business phone system SmartLine
Domain and hosting provider GoDaddy is moving into the voice and telephone business with a new app called SmartLine. It's aimed at addressing a basic need of small businesses — more and more of them are using their smartphones for both work and personal calls, but they don’t necessarily want to give everyone their personal phone number. So SmartLine creates a second number that connects to a customer’s iOS or Android device. Other features include the ability to fully configure SmartLine from the mobile app (without visiting a website), to set business hours (so that calls outside of those hours go directly to voicemail) and to receive voicemail transcriptions. And to win over alternatives, GoDaddy plans for more features, like vanity numbers, toll-free numbers and sharing a single phone number between multiple employees’ cell phones. A SmartLine with unlimited calling and texting costs $9.99 per month.
2010. Twilio created Google Voice for web-applications
Virtual PBX systems emerged long ago and gradually taking the market share from traditional PBX. This kind of service is even available for consumers - for example, Google Voice - the personal virtual PBX, which handles incoming calls, SMS and voicemail. But the main drawback of such services (for business) is that they are designed for interaction with people, but not with applications. At the same time, to improve business performance, each call should be at least logged in some application (e.g. in CRM system), and better - initiate some automated operations (for example, open the card of calling customer or solve customer problems by the interactive voice menu). Therefore, recently the API-voice services, which allow to easily integrate telephony into web-applications, appeared. Twilio - is one of them.