Subtitles on YouTube are extremely important to a large portion of its user base. Since YouTube is a global website with billions of users, it is important that the users actually can understand what is being said in videos. Manually adding subtitles to a YouTube video is usually a chore, so most YouTubers do not bother to add any. Fortunately, Google’s voice recognition software has now been able to automatically add subtitles to a billion videos.
If you speak some of the world languages, such as English, you might not give subtitles on YouTube a second thought. You can already understand what is being said in most videos. However, there are many hearing-impaired or deaf people that can’t enjoy watching videos.
There are also people whose first language is not English. Since it is quite a job to manually add subtitles to a YouTube video, most YouTubers do not want that much time.
Because of this, a lot of videos on YouTube do not have subtitles. Thankfully, Google’s voice recognition software has progressed at such a rate, it is now able to automatically add subs to YouTube videos.
Since there was a lack of subtitles on YouTube, Google decided to use their software on YouTube. This made it possible for them to add subtitles to a billion videos.
YouTube claims that there are now a billion videos that have automatic subtitles added to them. Google started doing this back in 2009, but in the field of technology, a lot of things changed since then. Mainly, the voice recognition technology has greatly improved.
Thanks to this, the accuracy of automatic subtitles have improved by fifty percent. Google has also claimed that the percentage of errors is close to that of manually entered subtitles. Because of this, you can barely see the difference between manually entered and automatically entered subtitles.
Improving the Technology
Viewers of YouTube videos also help to improve the technology around automatic subtitles. If you have a YouTube account, you are able to view and edit the automatic subtitles to make them more accurate.
This takes much less time compared to manually entering subtitles into your own videos, and make them show up at the right times.
The feedback that YouTube receives on automatic subtitles gets fed back to the system that creates automatic subtitles, through machine learning. This allows the subtitles to become better, without any addition work by Google.
Currently, there are ten languages that are automatically being subtitled on YouTube. More languages will be added to the system soon. On a daily basis, about fifteen videos with subtitles are being watched on YouTube.