Google Puts Captions on YouTube Videos

youtubeThink of it as closed captioning for the new media world.

Google Inc. said Thursday it is beginning to add automatic, machine-generated captions for videos on its YouTube site. The new service is intended to make online videos accessible to the deaf and hearing-impaired.

Hundreds of thousands of videos on Google sites already contain caption tracks that users have created and added manually with Google’s existing captioning service. But with 20 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, most videos on the site still lack captions.

So Google is tapping into the speech-recognition technology that it uses for its Google Voice call management service to make captions an automatic feature on YouTube.