Communication is complicated. In any given conversation, 7% of communication is verbal, 38% is vocal, and 55% is visual. CaptionCall’s purpose is to help those with hearing loss communicate — accurately. And it’s no small task.

In this article, you will learn how CaptionCall combines Captioning Agents and Automated Speech Recognition to deliver high-quality captions to those with difficulty hearing.

What is Automated Speech Recognition (ASR)?

Automated Speech Recognition is a technology that automatically adds captioning to audio data. Phone calls are one use, but a more common application that you may already be familiar with is on YouTube. Right now, you can click the “CC” button on your favorite videos and see ASR in action.

Where ASR Shines

The optimal environment for ASR is one where words are spoken clearly and with little background noise. Remember, ASR is essentially a computer that is translating speech, so the easier it is to hear and understand a conversation, the better the transcript will be.

Where ASR has Difficulty

When calls are between family and friends, where speech tends to be casual and unstructured, especially when there are other voices in the background, ASR begins to struggle.

And that is not the only situation where ASR has difficulties. Accents and unusual types of voices, like children, decrease the accuracy. This is one of the reasons CaptionCall uses Captioning Agents to oversee the captioning of phone calls. Captioning Agents are better able to adapt than ASR for cases such as:

  • “Deaf” accents
  • Southern accents
  • Children under 8
  • The elderly
  • Background voices

What is a Captioning Agent?

Captioning Agents are trained professionals who listen to one side of a conversation and transcribe it to text. So that those with hearing loss can easily read what is being said. It’s a Captioning Agent’s job to be as accurate as possible, with the least amount of miscommunication.

“An attentive and properly trained Captioning Agent will outperform ASR across the board.”

David Thomson, VP, Speech Sciences at CaptionCall

Captioning Agents listen to my phone calls?

Yes. They are listening, but they don’t know who you are. Calls are anonymized, so a Captioning Agent doesn’t know who is on the phone. The FCC tightly regulates the amount of private data a Captioning Agent sees, so they never know who is on the call.

In addition to FCC regulations, CaptionCall creates a “wall of security”. Captioning Agents are trained extensively and must pass background checks. Keycard access is required to gain access to our captioning floor, where calls are captioned. No content of the conversation is kept, except if you chose to do so. Your data is in your hands.

Which is better? Captioning Agents vs. ASR

So, which one is better? The answer: it depends. CaptionCall strives for perfection, and we empower our Captioning Agents with Automated Speech Recognition technology. So, where ASR struggles, we have Captioning Agents there to make your phone captions as accurate as possible.

Your Hearing Loss Journey

If you have hearing loss and are finding it difficult to have conversations on the telephone, CaptionCall’s no-cost service can help. Visit CaptionCall.com to see if you qualify or visit your audiologist and ask them about CaptionCall service. Qualified users also receive our red-carpet service, which includes delivery, installation, training, and customer support all at no cost.

Life is calling. Stop avoiding the phone and get your independence back with CaptionCall. Download the CaptionCall Mobile app in the Apple Store, Google Play Store, or request your phone and service today at CaptionCall.com/order-now.

Become a Captioning Agent

Want to help those with hearing loss connect with friends and loved ones? Visit CaptionCall.com/careers/captioning-agent and apply to become a Captioning Agent today!