What is ‘velotypie’ or velotyping?

You cannot have missed the interventions by the President of the French Republic during the recent lockdown crisis, without noting the efforts set up to allow the largest possible audience follows his words: sign language and subtitles were used, simultaneously and in real-time. Since 2005, the law was introduced to oblige broadcasters to make public events accessible to a wider audience, meaning people suffering from hearing loss could follow.

The relatively small number of errors shown during the subtitling process didn’t escape the internet of course, certainly due to a lack of understanding of the stenography process, which uses a highly specific methodology.

How to transcribe, live, everything said by a speaker, whilst reducing the risk of errors? How does this process work?

The current solution is based upon this device:

Rather than typing one letter at a time, the keyboard, which functions in the same way as a piano, allows the typist to press multiple buttons at once, therefore composing “chords”, which correspond to syllables. Integrated software is then used to re-transcribe these chords back into words. The text then appears one word at a time and is instantly readable. Invented by the Dutchman, Marius den Outer in the 1930s, the device is capable of transcribing a text at the speed of the speaker. Its typing speed is double that of classic (QWERTY/AZERTY) keyboards. Not until the 2000s would this keyboard, now known under the name “Veyboard”, become compatible with PCs. This technology is currently being used for Question to the Government in the French National Assembly and Senate.

Caution, you should avoid confusing this method with the classic “stenography”, which is used to publish the text of live press conference and for certain sporting events, for example. Stenography involves a phonetic typing method to record what is being said live, and can be linked to voice recognition software. The text if the proofread and corrected by a professional, who will then draw up an official report or article off-line.

Due to the omnipresent nature of Artificial Intelligence (AI), how can the ‘Velotype’ impact your future? Do you see possible improvements in this field?