Automatic captions to be embedded on Youtube by Google

Google is to add automatic captions
to the tens of millions of English-language videos it hosts on YouTube,
the web search giant said Friday. The move will make the videos more
accessible to deaf viewers but will also help Google index the content
and supply relevant ads alongside it, analysts said. Google has been
experimenting with the automated captions for several months with a
handful of high profile partners like the University of California,
Berkeley, Yale University and National Geographic. All other captions
on YouTube videos were provided by the videos’ producers. Google
has been working on speech recognition technology for some five years,
and uses the technology to transcribe audio voice mails through its
Google Voice service, and to provide spoken Web searches from smart
phones. However, engineers warned that the technology is far
from perfect and that the machine translations are sure to contain
mistakes. "We know it’s not perfect, and sometimes it will be
funny," said Google engineer Ken Harrenstien, who is deaf. "But it’s
better than nothing."


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