CastingWords API: To Transcribe is… Human?

Greg Bates, November 1st, 2012

CastingWordsThe CastingWords API allows you to put their 100% human transcription service into your company’s workflow. The API’s technical webpage describes the API as “RESTish,” with responses returned in a variety of formats.  The site states that, “The goal is not to follow REST’s practices closely, but rather to make an easy API to get up to speed with using a dynamic language or curl. It accepts data as URL encoded key value pairs. An HTTP body of type JSON in a POST request and with content type application/json is also accepted.”

Access to the API requires an API key and an account.

CastingWords uses Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to get the transcription done. MTurk farms out  HITs–Human Intelligence Tasks including transcription–to people working from their computers. In an interview with Amazon, CastingWords co-founder Nathan McFarland noted that MTurk’s “quality is astounding.”

Oversight of the quality is also done by MTurk–by other MTurk workers checking the transcription. As McFarland continues, “Amazon Mechanical Turk is the core of our business. We are in a people-hungry business. All of our work is done by people. It’s not a mass-production thing; it is individual hand-crafted work.”

CastingWorks guarantees its deadlines for high quality submissions. Transcriptions are delivered back to the customer in plain text, HTML and RTF formats.

CastingWorks customers include: NASA, the Wall Street Journal, ABC, SAP, the Obama campaign, and the BBC.

Located in Seattle, CastingWords accepts jobs from anywhere in the world.

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