YouTube announced Thursday plans to offer automatic close captioning service to all videos uploaded to their video-sharing site.
In a press conference in San Bruno, Calif., headquarters on Thursday, Google engineer Ken Harrenstein announced that its automatic captioning product will be available for all to use. When it first launched in November last year, only a few selected partners could use it.
The feature makes automatic captions using speech-to-text.
It's not perfect, but we know it's not perfect. And sometimes it will be funny, but it's better than nothing.
Right now, YouTube only supports speech recognition for English and those videos can be translated into other languages, Harrenstein said.
Captions are important not just to deaf people, but people all around the world. Those that have English as a second language, and for people who don't know that language at all. Even people who want to watch videos next to someone who is sleeping without disturbing them, he added.
Harrenstein, who's been deaf since the age of 5, said that YouTube will work to provide more accurate captions. Some of the problems the automatic captioning function faces includes; vocabulary, recording quality, background noise, and accents.
Google, which owns YouTube, was trading up $8.71 or 1.6 percent to $554.03 in afternoon trading.
Below is a video from the California School for the Deaf High School news crew and their reaction to the feature: