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Monday 4 December 2023

Using AI in Education Part 2

This is Week 2 of my advent calendar on using AI in education. Week 1 was here:

Since all my lectures are recorded, it's easy to have a transcription of everything I said. I use Jordi Bruin's MacWhisper -- on my Mac. On Linux, I use OpenAI's command-line tools, because usually I'm trying to automate something in a pipeline. I haven't used anything on Windows, but parmata's Whisper UI ( ) looks like it's the equivalent of Jordi's program.

The Whisper model behind these programs is free to use, so there's no per-minute cost. (In 2018 when I was the CTO of a speech analytics company and was giving presentations regularly, I predicted that this would be case within 5 years. I was wrong by about 6 months.)

That said, you can also pay OpenAI to do transcriptions for you (with some limitations on length). This might make sense if you use Zapier to automate transcribing your lectures.

Over the next few weeks I'll go into more detail of the very interesting things that you can do with a high-quality transcription, but for now, consider that there are students (e.g. the hearing-impaired) for whom a high-quality transcription can make a world of difference to their learning experience.

P.S. 2 years ago transcription of voice to text was still unreliable. I still see recording systems deployed at universities which are using obsolete (and terrible) transcription technology, so if you are dismissing this based on your experience of current technology, you might be accidentally living in the past still.

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