Human vs. AI: What’s best for delivering live captioning at my event?

What’s best for delivering live captioning at my event

If 2023 was the year everyone was talking about AI, 2024 is the year event organisers look to use AI to make their job easier and events better. 

Live captioning has been one of our most requested services by event professionals over the last six months.  But which type of captioning is best for my event?

Let’s start by understanding the pros and cons of both human captioning and AI captioning for your events. 

Any captioning can take place live, or after the event (for those looking to provide captioning for any event playback content). 

Human captions can be generated through two methods. The first involves crafting them entirely from scratch, while the second employs AI to generate captions, with a human serving as an editor to correct any errors. Human captioners possess the capability to make real-time corrections, enhancing not only accuracy but also ensuring that captions exhibit improved precision in terms of punctuation, grammar, spelling, and capitalisation.

Unfortunately, due to the skills needed and the limited number of captioners on the market, this is often the most expensive option and can sometimes be cost-prohibitive for event organisers. With human captioning you can expect up to around a 99% accuracy rate. 

AI captioning platforms, while providing an excellent solution if budget is a concern,  vary in accuracy rate, especially for events featuring a wide range of global speakers.

Often there is no one platform solution that can provide everything event professionals need across all their events.  Platforms can vary based on languages provided and price points, just to name a couple of examples.

The perfect solution? 

When looking for your perfect solution, here’s our list of essential questions we recommend you consider when looking to implement live captioning at your next event. 


Questions to consider when looking to implement AI captioning at your next event:

  • Are the languages you need covered? The languages offered by platforms can vary, and although they may claim to cover Welsh, for example, it’s worth checking if they provide English to Welsh or Welsh to Welsh translations. We recently received a quote request for a virtual event requiring Welsh captions. We were using a Welsh interpreter, but the platform in use did not support Welsh to Welsh AI captions, which would have been more accurate, only English to Welsh.
  • If you’re using translated captions, consider what happens during Q&A sessions. For instance, if the speaker is speaking in English and being translated into Spanish, how is a question asked in Spanish handled?
  • Is there a limit to the number of connections watching the captions? If so, how is this measured, and what are the cost implications?
  • Can you preload glossaries to improve accuracy?
  • Is there a profanity filter (if relevant)?
  • What support is provided before, during and after the event?
  • How can captions be viewed, e.g., on plasmas, or can they be accessed on personal devices?


Things to consider when deciding between Human and AI captioning:

Budget: AI is generally less expensive than human captioning.
Speakers: AI accuracy can diminish with speaker accents. If speakers are international, take this into consideration.
Language: AI captioning performs better with the most commonly used languages, such as English.
Subject matter: AI captioning works best with general topics. If your event content is specialised, consider human captioning.


TranslateAble is the only language service agency dedicated to the events industry. Quite simply – we ‘get it’.

Find out more about our services for events or contact the team today to discuss your upcoming event requirements.

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