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Deaf Christmas!

Are we just totally in love with Google?

Today Google announed automatic captioning on YouTube.

Plus more here, if you're interested:

For the past few years, how to make user generated content (UGC) has played on my mind, and I could see the internet becoming less accessible to deaf people (a decade ago we had more access). Did people have the will to innovate, and get around this?

People like Ken Harrenstien (Deaf Software Engineer at Google), are vital to any workforce. Kind of a very good example as to why workplace diversity matters. Bring people in who'll think outside your traditional box, and push for something that your average Joe won't be so bothered. That said, geeks seem to run on creativity, and a perfect example of tech working with people not trying to change them.

This doesn't just have implications for deaf people, but the captioning will be made available in 51 languages. That's a significant chunk of the world's population, and bridging across cultures. Captioning is also beneficial for Google's business, in that it'll be able to index content better; so everyone wins. A major development in bridging people globally with huge implications on accessing content (even via basic search), yet the mainstream doesn't notice. The current trending topic on Twitter? #newmoon, which says it all.

I for one cannot wait, its certainly better than any (material) present I may receive this Christmas!

New York Times: Google to Caption YouTube Videos
Lifehacker: YouTube Adds Machine-Generated Automatic Captions

Comments (4)

fabulous - this will definitely mean that I waste yet more time on the internet!!! ;-)

This is awesome news, in term of industry best practices.

However, will it lead to captioning the ASL vloggers on Deafread? I haven't a clue what they are saying!

A great boon indeed, let us hope it is better than the BBC's and SKY automated captioning ! I am unsure if it will help deaf with poor speech or have strong regional accent, or if the mainly oral and hearing blogger will utilise it, but a great idea, personally I subtitle my own vids. Will BSL/ASL vbloggers use it ? surely they are dedicated to sign only ? like slatbar I would love to see the 'Deaf' come out and let us know what the hell they are saying... they will have little excuse now.

More significantly, this same technology could be used outside the Internet - e.g., deaf people at the workplace, and, one day, ultimately, live captioning on your iPhone what your crush is saying in front of you at the nightclub ;-)

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