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Google Adding Automatic Captions to YouTube Vids

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Google (s GOOG) is making it easier for deaf, hard-of-hearing and global audiences to enjoy YouTube today, by announcing features that make adding captions to videos much easier.

The first feature uses the same voice-recognition algorithms found in Google Voice along with the YouTube caption system to create auto-captions for videos. A Google blog post announcing the feature warns, “The captions will not always be perfect,” but it’s definitely a good first step.

Additionally, you can automatically translate captions into one of 51 languages, making videos more accessible to a global audience.

The second caption feature is automatic caption timing. This is a slightly more manual process for adding captions to videos, but it’s still very cool. Creators just upload a text file with all the words in a video, and Google figures out when the words are spoken to create the appropriate captions.

An example of both in action is embedded in the video above.

Google says both features will be available in English by the end of this week. Automatic captions will only be visible on select partner channels to start as the company works out the kinks. The auto-timing feature will roll out globally for all English-language vids on YouTube.

10 Responses to “Google Adding Automatic Captions to YouTube Vids”

  1. Very importantly as well, with auto subtitles, Google can provide in-video search. You could thus auto fast forward and edit out snippets from videos where a certain word or topic is being said and discussed. For example, people can search for “Healthcare” and basically get to automatically zap among the most relevant videos that currently talk about it. This is very significant in improving video search.

  2. Automatic subtitles + automatic translation means your videos can be understood by everyone in the whole world.

    Google could add a collaborative manual subtitle correction feature as well, so all viewers can collaborate to fix eventual auto subtitle and auto translation issues. So for popular videos, with a few volunteers out of 1000 viewers contributing in the first few hours of a movie being uploaded, the subtitles could basically be close to perfect in all major translated languages.