YouTube Adds Captions for Deaf

Auto-captioning to be available to all users
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2010 4:46 AM CST

(Newser) – Life just got a lot easier for the deaf YouTuber. YouTube is rolling out its auto-captioning service for all the tens of millions of videos it hosts, starting with the English-language ones. "A core part of YouTube's DNA is access to content," a YouTube exec said at the launch yesterday. Company developers say the move is the culmination of decades of steady improvement in speech recognition technology, the BBC reports.

"This is huge. It is what I have dreamed about for so many years," said YouTube software engineer Ken Harrenstein, who has been deaf since he was 5. "The fact that you can now go to any video online and expect to see captions is unbelievable, and the fact I had a part in this is great." He stressed that the technology still isn't perfect, noting that "SIM card" was transcribed as "salmon" in a sample video.

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