Google announced today that YouTube will be able to automatically include captions in videos. Previously, you had to enter the caption manually while the video was uploading, an option that was usually overlooked. That was also a problem for those impaired or might have language barriers that are looking to consumer video.
Google notes that the number of captioned videos does is somewhere in the hundreds of thousands, but with the new automatic caption services, that should sky-rocket shortly. For now, the service is only available to a handful of partners, including: UC Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Yale, UCLA, Duke, UCTV, Columbia, PBS, National Geographic, Demand Media, UNSW and most Google & YouTube channels.
To ensure scalability, Google has combined its automatic speech recognition (also used in Google Voice) with the YouTube caption system that will ensure seamless automatic captions. For those who are still interested in manual captions, Google also announced auto-timing, which makes it easier to create a simple text file of the words in a video, then couple that with Google’s technology to match up words and video. This will help with those who don’t want to take the chance of having an occasional “off” word generated by Google’s automatic speech recognition.
I’ve embedded YouTube’s demo video below.