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Automated Transcripts from Zoom at ICANN65

23 June 2019
By Ashwin Rangan

As you know, ICANN moved to Zoom as its web conferencing solution and we are pleased with the positive feedback we have received about this new system. One of the most welcome developments about Zoom has been the introduction of its automatic transcription feature. You may have noticed this feature while watching a Zoom recording, with the text of the transcript scrolling in time with the meeting audio.

This feature is powered by Otter.ai, an AI solution which partnered with Zoom for transcription. I mention this not as an advertisement but rather as a disclaimer. These automatic transcripts should be treated as a useful tool in reviewing recorded content quickly, but by no means should these transcripts be read as the official record. The Zoom transcriptions are entirely machine-transcribed and accessible quickly following the conclusion of a recording (usually within a few hours). This is different from ICANN's more accurate official transcriptions, which are produced by a human but not available quite as fast.

After some discussion and debate, we decided to enable automatic transcriptions in Zoom for ICANN65. To reiterate, we are enabling this feature to provide a measure of convenience and these transcriptions should be treated as a quick version of the recordings. ICANN’s Language Services team will continue to provide the official record of public sessions and these official records will be made available along the same timelines as in previous meetings.


Ashwin Rangan

Ashwin Rangan