Sunday, March 7, 2010

YouTube Starts Captioning

"YouTube adds video captions for deaf"
BBC (March 5, 2010)

"YouTube is making the tens of millions of videos it hosts more accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing by putting automatic captions on them.

"The Google-owned company said this use of speech recognition technology is probably the biggest experiment of its kind online.

"Previously captions were only on a small amount of content.

" 'A core part of YouTube's DNA is access to content,' said the firm's product manager Hunter Walk. ..."

Makes sense, I think. I've got pretty good hearing: but there are times when I use the television's captioning option to pick up content without disturbing others in earshot - or so that I can listen for some sound.

What I think will be interesting is how accurate the speech recognition technology is.


Brigid said...

According to little brother, not very.

Depends a lot on the diction of the person speaking, and if it can recognize languages other than English, I should think.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...


Agreed - I'll be astonished if speech-recognition technology is really up to the task. As for 'other than English' readiness: Japan, Korea, India and probably China have the market and tech savvy people to make it work. Some European nations, too, probably.

"Some European nations,too, probably." Hoo ha. Quite a lot has happened in my lifetime. Welcome to the 21st century.

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