Google’s Youtube Rolls Out Automatic English Captions To All Videos

The real news here is the enormous scale of the translation that will occur. Google indicates that nearly every single English video on Youtube will soon be translated into text captioning, and languages other than English will be sure to follow. Even though only English videos can be captioned, once those videos are captioned into English their captions can then be translated into roughly 50 different languages.

Susan Boyle, Now With English Captions Automatically Added By Google’s Youtube

In a press conference earlier today Google announced a bold and ambitious plan to automatically add computer generated captioning to all English videos on Youtube. Capitalizing on more than a decade of expertise gained during the creation of services such as the Google Translation Engine and Google Voice, the web giant will leverage its powerful computing infrastructure to automatically convert English speech into text across virtually every video in its archive. The announcement from Google represents a landmark moment in the field of automated speech translation. It is also a much welcome boon to deaf and hearing impaired people across the world. What’s more, the automatic translation of millions of hours of speech laden video into text represents a big boost to the field of information and search. Millions of hours of speech will now be accessible to search engines. Google’s translation initiative portends a fast approaching world where all speech, whether it be in videos, phone conversations, or plain old human to human conversations will be automatically converted into text and made searchable for anyone, speaking any language, in the world. Be sure to watch the video after the break that explains most of what you want to know about Google’s video caption service.

The importance of the announcement today is not really about the technology or the capability of speech to text translation, both of which have been inching into the mainstream for many years now. Indeed, Google has been converting speech to text in Youtube videos to limited partners at least as long ago as Nov 2009. The real news here is the enormous scale of the translation that will occur. … Below is a short video from Google that clearly explains the basics of their captioning service:


Complete text linked here.

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