Neowin: Google is bringing Live Caption to Chrome, now available in the Canary channel. “Last year at I/O, Google announced a series of new accessibility features for Android, one of which was Live Caption. Essentially, this capability allows for a device to recognize speech in any video the user might be watching on the phone, and add subtitles to the video in real-time. The feature ended up rolling out to the Pixel 4 family in October, followed by other Pixels and select Android devices. Now, the feature seems to be coming to the desktop thanks to Chrome.”
Google Blog: If it has audio, now it can have captions. “With the launch of Pixel 4, Live Caption is now officially available to make digital media more accessible. With a single tap, Live Caption automatically captions videos and spoken audio on your device (except phone and video calls). It happens in real time and completely on-device, so it works even if you don’t have cell data or Wi-Fi, and the captions always stay private and never leave your phone.” There are plans to work with other Android phone manufacturers to roll out this feature to other phones besides Pixel.
Ars Technica: Facebook’s auto-captions for a recent launch video are hilariously bad. “An Antares rocket built by Northrop Grumman launched on Wednesday afternoon, boosting a Cygnus spacecraft with 3.4 tons of cargo toward the International Space Station. The launch from Wallops Island, Virginia, went flawlessly, and the spacecraft arrived at the station on Friday. However, when NASA’s International Space Station program posted the launch video to its Facebook page on Thursday, there was a problem. Apparently the agency’s caption service hadn’t gotten to this video clip yet, so viewers with captions enabled were treated not just to the glory of a rocket launch, but the glory of Facebook’s automatically generated crazywords.”
Mashable: Here’s how to add captions to your Instagram Stories to make them more accessible. “Instagram’s Stories, for example, don’t come with closed captioning, which presents a challenge for the 466 million people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing. But while Instagram itself has yet to provide in-app Story captioning, third party apps exist that can help you transcribe your videos and add captions at the bottom of the screen.”
Genealogy’s Star: FamilyTreeWebinars add Closed Captioning to Webinars. “In what well may be the first time the larger genealogical community has provided closed captioning, FamilyTreeWebinars.com in conjunction with MyHeritage.com, who acquired the company last year, have developed and provided closed captioning for 207 past webinars.”
UC IT Blog: YouTube Caption Audit Tool Now Available from UCI. “Released via GitHub on July 27, 2018, the YouTube Caption Audit is a distributable web application that reports uncaptioned public videos for a given YouTube channel. Surprisingly, this is not something that can be done within the YouTube Video Manager, yet it is something that is critical to monitoring the state of accessibility of UC videos posted online or made available to students and the public. The YouTube Caption Audit application addresses that functional gap.”
TechCrunch: YouTube Live gains automatic captions, chat replay and more. “YouTube today announced several new features designed to improve the live streaming experience for both creators and viewers. The most notable additions include the ability to play back a live chat after the live stream ends, and the launch of live automatic captions on videos.”
USA Today: Facebook Live adds closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing. “Not all Live videos will have closed captions, but if captioning settings are turned on, Facebook users will automatically see closed captions on Live broadcasts when they’re available, Facebook’s director of accessibility Jeffrey Wieland told USA TODAY. Facebook videos that are not live-streamed already had this capability, but only if the publishers offer captions.”
Wow! YouTube has auto-captioned one billion videos! “Google first launched video captions back in 2006 and automated them three years later. In addition to the 1 billion milestone, the company said people watch video with automatic captions more than 15 million times per day.”
Wired: A Heroic AI Will Let You Spy on Your Lawmakers’ Every Word. ” Digital Democracy is like YouTube for local government hearings, bolstered with a splash of artificial intelligence. Bots create transcripts of lawmakers’ every official utterance at the state house and use face recognition software to keep track of who’s speaking. Voters can search the transcripts by speaker and subject while at the same time getting a glimpse of legislators’ financial ties. The non-profit effort launched in California back in 2015, and today, it’s expanding to New York.”
This video from YouTube clocks in at just over six minutes: How to edit and download YouTube closed captions, upload subtitles to Facebook (2017).
Center for Community Journalism: How to easily create captions and subtitles for Facebook videos. “If you are posting videos to Facebook or streaming to Facebook Live, you may have noticed other videos which have captions so that viewers can read what is being covered if they have their audio turned off. This week I noticed a new feature on Facebook – the ability on your Facebook Page to automatically generate and edit SRT captions. Note: this feature is not yet available on Facebook Profiles and I am not sure if it will be as there are many feature differences on Facebook Profiles versus Facebook Pages.”
A new campaign has been started to call out the lousy auto-captions on YouTube. “A new campaign dubbed #NoMoreCraptions is calling out “crappy” captions on YouTube, where creators are asking each other to make their content more accessible by writing their own captions on their videos. YouTuber Rikki Poynter started the campaign in late September to close out Deaf Awareness Month, saying terrible, auto-generated captions needlessly restrict YouTube’s accessibility.”
Google has upgraded its image captioning algo. “Google has announced a new version of its image captioning algorithm that describes the contents of images with 94 percent accuracy. It’s almost as good at writing captions as humans are. It has been trained to emulate descriptions written by real people.”
Interesting: Microsoft has a new online tool; upload an image and it tries to create a caption. I uploaded a picture of some deviled eggs and the caption it gave was “I think it’s a close up of a plate of cake.” Bzzt. You can give the captions 1-5 stars for feedback. I uploaded a picture of Jim Backus and it said, “I think it’s an old man wearing a suit and tie and he seems 😁.” There ya go (though I don’t think he’s THAT old in the picture…)