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YouTube automatic captions now on 1bn videos

youtube subtitlesYouTube has now automatically subtitled 1 billion videos, having first automated video captions in 2009.

YouTube combines Google’s automatic speech recognition technology with the YouTube caption system to offer automatic captions, a process it described as a “big leap forward” in helping it keep up with the video service’s growing scale.

“Fast forward to today, and the number of videos with automatic captions now exceeds a staggering 1 billion. Moreover, people watch video with automatic captions more than 15 million times per day,” said YouTube product manager Liat Kaver.

She said that a major goal for the team has been improving the accuracy of automatic captions, with improved speech recognition, machine learning algorithms and expanded training data.

“All together, those technological efforts have resulted in a 50% leap in accuracy for automatic captions in English, which is getting us closer and closer to human transcription error rates,” said Kaver.

“Continuing to improve the accuracy of captions remains an important goal going forward, as does the need to keep growing beyond 1 billion automatic captions. We also want to extend that work to all of our ten supported languages.”