Automatic captioning makes YouTube videos more accessible


YouTube Videos are fun to watch, but without the sound, one can never really enjoy it.

That’s what people who have hearing impairment have to endure, silent videos. Having captions on the other hand, will definitely make it more accessible and a better experience for them.

The thing is, placing captions on ALL the videos you are uploading is a pretty daunting task so Google is solving that problem by adding the feature Automatic Captions or auto-caps.

“We’ve combined Google’s automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology with the YouTube caption system to offer automatic captions, or auto-caps for short. Auto-caps use the same voice recognition algorithms in Google Voice to automatically generate captions for video. The captions will not always be perfect, but even when they’re off, they can still be helpful—and the technology will continue to improve with time,” Google Software Engineer Ken Harrenstien said in the official Google blog.

Google also introduced new feature in YouTube called automatic caption timing or auto-timing which will make it easier to add automatic captions manually. All you have to do is upload a text file containing all the world in the video and Google’s ASR technology to identify which part of the video the words were spoken.

At present, auto-caps is only visible in a number of partner channels including U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Yale, UCLA, Duke, UCTV, Columbia, PBS, National Geographic, Demand Media, UNSW and most Google and YouTube channels. Auto-timing on the other hand, is now available to all English language videos.