Transcription vs IBM Watson Figuring Out Song Lyrics Infographic

I was recently sent this fascinating infographic that pitted IBM’s Watson against transcriptionists trying to transcribe song lyrics. It’s pretty fun to see the results and how they compare. However, I’m not sure it’s really fair to call it IBM Watson. It looks like they used the voice recognition software in Watson to do the voice to text. If they were really using Watson, then they would have done the voice to text and then compared it against all the song lyrics ever written and then produced the exact song lyrics. However, they said that the transcriptionists weren’t allowed to Google the lyrics. I assume the same was true for Watson.

It’s also worth mentioning that song lyrics can be much harder for a computer to hear than just a straight transcription. I also bet my friends at Nuance would argue that their voice recognition would have performed much better. Plus, I wonder how long the transcriptionists took on these songs. A double or triple checked transcription would be very accurate.

All of this said, this infographic and the results of their experiment (specifically stated as non-scientific) illustrates what most of us that have used the technology already know. Transcriptionists are more accurate than voice recognition. The question most people in healthcare make is whether the costs of a transcriptionist is worth that increase in accuracy. That’s the challenge.

Ok, without further ado, here’s the infographic:
Transcription Services versus IBM Watson and Song Mondegreens

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.