AI Transcription Smack-Down: The Latest Round

After the massive media brouhaha over lower its already skimpy payouts for transcriptionists, the company has announced its first rate increase since its founding 10 years ago:

But as someone who’s spent the last couple of years training our new robot overlords, I can point you to the bigger picture behind all this: AI-driven voice recognition systems are getting so good that’s it’s tough for mere mortals to compete. In fact Rev’s own unit charges roughly 1/12 the rate for human-typed transcription: just 10 cents a minute versus $1.25 for Rev (which is still quite low by traditional industry standards).

Even Rev itself has been shifting to the editing model, which hands off computer-generated text to humans to clean up. But if you produce clear, easy to hear content, why would you pay 12 times more for humans to work on it all? What remains for the contractors is increasingly often almost indecipherable audio. So it doesn’t matter how you slice it, the cheese is moving.


Automotive History: Back to the Future?

Photo (c) 2019 Frederick Ingram

Framing John DeLorean trailer:

Well I got Hulu, because I have that Jeep in Reprisal, and I ended up catching the semi-documentary #FramingJohnDeLorean.

The “framing” part has a double meaning of course, and it was neat to have Alec Baldwin getting the full #HMU (hair & makeup) treatment to become a quite convincing doppelgänger.

But I skipped the second half ~ yeah I felt DeLorean was framed, entrapped, at least a little bit, in that drug sting business. And the fallout was so destructive ~ gutting the fledgling auto industry in Northern Ireland, so direly in need of jobs coming out of the Troubles. And to be done in by the perfidy of Margaret Thatcher, who otherwise bore the mantel of Ulster’s defender, really stung.

I never really knew about DeLorean’s womanizing and treachery of his own. But the film documents his own kids saying what a loving father he was, which is a really neat accomplishment for such a high level executive.

And the namesake car is quite a legacy in itself. I even saw one on the set of Legacies on the CW when I brought the Jeep to Covington, Georgia (Dukes of Hazard country) for their ’80s episode. It’s a hard car to ignore.

They also had a vintage Nissan 280z and 300ZX, which brings me to our latest auto outlaw, Carlos Ghosn. Seems I was just reading about his role in uniting the best parts of Nissan and Renault, a globalization success story.

I’m not up to speed on the current chapter of his story ~ something about escaping house arrest in Japan and ending up in Lebanon of all places? It all just seems so incredibly weird.

Which means one day it will make a great movie. By that time there may even be a TV channel devoted to international corporate history.

Good news for business history buffs, and nondescript background actors with vintage vehicles.