When it comes to the battle of technology versus real-time court reporters, who wins? Despite many tech advances that have happened in the industry, you cannot beat having a real person on board to handle the task. There are many reasons why stenographers matter so much when it comes to court proceedings.
Read on to find out more about why this job position is so valuable and why it will likely never really be replaced by any tech completely.
It may seem that in our modern world that technology is everywhere. It’s in our A.T.M.s that speak to us when we withdraw money, in the self-checkout lanes at our grocery store, in the chips in our credit cards, and in various other jobs, tasks, and functions that we take advantage of on a regular basis. When it comes to court reporting, is a machine more efficient than a person?
The short answer is no. A machine may have certain advantages, or at least seem to. We may think that a machine will certainly be more efficient than a human at recording audio. However, this skill can have certain drawbacks. While a person can ask for clarification, a machine cannot. It may not even know when it has made an error. A stenographer will be able to ask for clarity and get the audio transcription that is needed to have an accurate recording of the court proceedings.
A court reporter can capture the spoken word the way it is meant to be, which is crucial when it comes to creating highly accurate legal records. They also have the benefit of being familiar with the legal processes involved in proceedings regarding trials and depositions, which can be invaluable when reporting. Their accuracy is certainly tough to beat, especially when the stenographer has years of experience.
Stenographers can also edit shorthand notes quickly thanks to computers. This means that anyone involved has quick access to transcripts that they can go over, something that technological advancements cannot match. As stenography has traditionally involved sorting through word conflicts and taking down shorthand notes and transcripts, it has a context that is difficult to replicate through the use of technology alone. However, tech advancements combined with court reporters have proven to be a successful duo, with apps and programs allowing steno writers to do their jobs more accurately and easily.
While it can seem tempting to want to replace reporters with machines, courts and governments must consider the drawbacks. While operational expenses would seem to be downsized by replacing people with machines, when you consider how heavily most courts already rely on stenographers, it can seem like a foolhardy move. Legal proceedings require accurate court reporting, so if a machine breaks or does not take down what it was supposed to, the whole day can be lost.
At the end of the day, stenographic court reporters are a huge asset to the court system. Not only are they always able to do their job, but they are smart, attentive, reliable and innovative. Whether in depositions or court cases, court reporters aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They matter too much to accurate reporting and the system in general. Sorry, technology.