Message from the STRONG Task Force

Your NCRA Board of Directors and STRONG Task Force want to share the following NCRA Resolution and information with you, our members, so you will be aware of its existence and some of the measures we intend to take to make the users of our services understand how seriously NCRA takes ensuring access to justice for the public by providing accurate speech-to-text translation.

NCRA supports individuals through education and certification, promotion of the stenographic profession throughout the legal industry, and defense of the industry in government. To that end, in February of 2019, NCRA’s STRONG Task Force was created and tasked with the research and development of materials to address emerging challenges to our profession from digital, artificial intelligence (AI), automatic speech recognition (ASR), or video-only means of capturing the record in lieu of a skilled and trained stenographer.

Over the course of the past year’s research, it has become apparent that NCRA needs to conduct a robust investigation of fact-based data gathered nationwide across multiple platforms. Data provided by forensic experts who are engaged in forensic examinations of audio and video media and authentication of recordings/digital data indicate a need to further examine potential problems and security issues that may arise when utilizing digital, artificial intelligence (AI), automatic speech recognition (ASR) software, or video-only means of capturing the spoken word in lieu of a stenographic reporter or captioner.

By way of example, NCRA STRONG member Christopher Day, RPR, has recently released a powerful and compelling video demonstration of the ease of manipulating an audio file with off-the-shelf software. He walks us through the changing of testimony that would be nearly undetectable without the skills of a digital forensic examination of the contents.

Because of the potential impact utilization of unproven technology could have on the practice of law and the public’s trust in the judicial system and accessibility, NCRA believes providing information and data to the end users of our services informs them of some of the dangers associated with alternative methods. It is for that reason the STRONG Task Force, together with NCRA’s Board of Directors, drafted this resolution.

NCRA intends to distribute this resolution in a press release in the weeks ahead.