In 2008, four students at the MIT Sloan School of Management developed a system for captioning online video that was far more efficient than traditional methods, which involve pausing a video frequently to write text and mark time codes. The system used automated speech-recognition software to produce "rough-draft" transcripts, displayed on a simple interface, that could easily be edited. Landing a gig to caption videos from five MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) classes, the students were able to caption 100 hours of content in a fraction the time of manual captioning. This marked the beginning of captioning-service company 3Play Media, which now boasts more than 1,000 clients and an equal number of contracted editors processing hundreds of hours of content per day. Clients include academic institutions, government agencies, and big-name companies -- such as Netflix, Viacom, and Time Warner Cable -- as well as many users of video-sharing websites.
Facebook just got a little more accessible for deaf and hard of hearing users. The social media giant is adding closed captioning capabilities to its Live product, USA Today reported Tuesday, allowing viewers to see automatically generated captions on broadcasts that show up in their News Feeds. To see the captions, both publishers and viewers need to activate the setting. It's a welcome addition to Facebook, which has already offered automatic closed captioning on regular videos and advertisements for a few years. When Live launched in 2016, some deaf and hard of hearing users noted the lack of captioning, which rendered the videos inaccessible.
Facebook is launching closed captions for Facebook Live videos. SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook says it's bringing closed captioning to Facebook Live to make at least some of the videos streamed live on the social network accessible to people who are 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. The move is part of the broader push at Facebook to make more of its content accessible to more people.