What is Amplify?
Amplify is a crowdsourcing platform where libraries can publish digital audio materials from their collections, paired with machine-generated transcripts. These audio files can then be accessed and listened to by members of the public, who can also help to correct any errors they may find in the computer generated transcripts as they listen along.
The aim of Amplify is to promote access to rich cultural collections from across New South Wales, as well as to provide an engaging and user-friendly tool to create and correct transcripts at low cost. The benefit of Amplify is not only to provide online access to previously inaccessible material, but also to create an opportunity for libraries to engage with communities of interest in correcting any errors or gaps in the machine generated material. It is a great way for researchers, volunteers and the general public to get ‘hands-on’ with cultural heritage and listen in depth to the stories of NSW and Australian history.
How could Amplify work for my library?
There has been a focus over the last several years from many cultural institutions to preserve at-risk collection formats, such as historical audio collections that were originally recorded on now deteriorating formats such as cassette tapes. The State Library of NSW, for example, has digitised more than 10,000 hours of sound recordings from its collections. However, to make these digital recordings truly accessible, searchable and valuable, each audio file requires a corresponding text-based transcript. Unfortunately, human transcription services are costly and time-consuming, making it challenging for many institutions to complete this mammoth task on their own.
Recent advances in voice-to-text machine technologies have meant we’ve seen great progress in computer-generated transcripts, making it easier to produce transcripts for a wealth of important audio material. While the accuracy of these computer-generated transcripts is higher than ever before, they still tend to be error-prone and require careful human editing to reach full accuracy.
A platform like Amplify allows your library to create machine-generated transcripts for free, which can then be corrected by volunteers and the general public, helping you to achieve more accurate textual records for your audio materials, ultimately making them more searchable, discoverable and useful for research.
Learn more about the resources required and factors to consider in making Amplify successful for your library.
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