Tens of millions of people in the U.S. experience some kind of hearing impairment and recent studies have predicted that over 700 million people worldwide will suffer from hearing impairment by 2015. To address a clear need, the broadcast industry began running captions on regular video programming in the early 1970s. Today, closed captions on video are more prevalent than ever. But generating captions today can be a time-consuming and complicated process.
Making video easily accessible is something we’re working hard to address at YouTube. One of the first steps we took was the development of a caption feature in 2008. In November of last year we released auto-captioning for a small, select group of partners. Auto-captioning combines some of the speech-to-text algorithms found in Google’s Voice Search to automatically generate video captions when requested by a viewer. The video owner can also download the auto-generated captions, improve them, and upload the new version. Viewers can even choose an option to translate those captions into any one of 50 different languages — all in just a couple of clicks.
Today, we are opening up auto-captions to all YouTube users. There will even be a “request processing” button for un-captioned videos that any video owner can click on if they want to speed up the availability of auto-captions. It will take some time to process all the available video
We will still have captions made for our Citizen Engineer videos, it didn’t cost us much and it was very accurate. Eventually all video services will do this automatically like YouTube is now…
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My friends in the Deaf community tell me that the internet has been a great benefit to those who are Deaf, e.g.,the prevalence of email and texting in the hearing community.
However, the number one complaint is the lack of captioned videos on YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu.
I hope this helps with that, but accuracy will be key. No doubt the more it is used, the better it will become.
I think it’s a good idea because sometimes there are just Audio quality issues not just with videos but bad speakers on a laptop.