Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dealing with video accessibility - automating captions and transcripts

I found out last week that Google had recently integrated YouTube with Google's speech-text technology, allowing videos displayed on YouTube to have their captions and transcripts automatically generated.

In addition, these captions and transcripts can then be translated, via Google's text translation system, and displayed on the video in any supported language.

The transcript can also be downloaded (and corrected if necessary) to be reused in other environments.

Whilst Google admits that neither the speech-to-text autocaptioning or the translation tool are perfect, these are measurable steps forward in using computing power to address accessibility in videos.

It also is a powerful tool for any organisation with video footage - even for internal use. They can simply upload video to YouTube in a private channel, have it auto-transcribed - correct this as required and then translate the material as necessary, then remove the video from YouTube and use the translated material internally.

More information on this tool is available at YouTube's blog in the post, Automatic captions in YouTube and I've embedded their demo video below.

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