Better Transcription of UK Supreme Court Hearings

29 Nov 2022  ·  Hadeel Saadany, Catherine Breslin, Constantin Orăsan, Sophie Walker ·

Transcription of legal proceedings is very important to enable access to justice. However, speech transcription is an expensive and slow process. In this paper we describe part of a combined research and industrial project for building an automated transcription tool designed specifically for the Justice sector in the UK. We explain the challenges involved in transcribing court room hearings and the Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques we employ to tackle these challenges. We will show that fine-tuning a generic off-the-shelf pre-trained Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) system with an in-domain language model as well as infusing common phrases extracted with a collocation detection model can improve not only the Word Error Rate (WER) of the transcribed hearings but avoid critical errors that are specific of the legal jargon and terminology commonly used in British courts.

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