Home Technology Facebook Live enables AI automated captions for the disabled

Facebook Live enables AI automated captions for the disabled

To help people with disabilities, researchers at Facebook AI have made live video content more accessible by enabling automatic closed captions for Facebook Live and Workplace Live.

At the moment, Facebook Live automatic captions support six languages — English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and French.

While Facebook provides automatic closed captioning for on-demand videos in 16 languages, and just announced similar capabilities for Instagram IGTV, access to live, real-time news and information was still a dream for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – have disabling hearing loss, and that is projected to increase to over 900 million by 2050.

“Facebook Live automatic captions are helping governments disseminate crucial public health information, and ensuring that millions of viewers across the world – whether they have hearing loss, or are just watching where audio is not available – get the message,” Facebook said in a blog post on Tuesday.

The voice and video calling have surged in recent months during the Covid-19 pandemic as people around the world check in with family, friends, and colleagues.

“Video captioning is critical for people like me in the deaf community during a public health emergency,” said Brenden Gilbert, a production operations engineer at Facebook.

The rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic caused a spike in both the supply and demand of public health information.

Several governments discovered that video captioning was not just a nice-to-have, but imperative, especially in the absence of available sign language interpreters.

“Many of them needed captions to comply with their own disability access rules for public broadcasts,” explained Daniel McKinnon, a Product Manager at Facebook.

Julian Chan, a Facebook AI software engineer said that the AI system is also capable of adapting to new words such as “COVID,” which is essential for captioning public health information-based broadcasts during the pandemic.

Facebook said that the broadcasters can count on automatic closed captions to support their efforts to get the message out, whether a state official is sharing authoritative health guidance, or someone is simply taking their viewers behind the scenes of a day in their life — during Covid-19 and beyond.

Most Popular

DC win toss and bowl against SRH, Ishant Sharma returns

Delhi Capitals won the toss and chose to bowl first against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. DC...

IAMAI calls meet over new Google Play Store payment system

With the developers and payment gateway players criticising new Google in-app purchase policies where those using Play Store to sell digital services will be...

Chinese espionage case: Delhi court denies bail to journalist

A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed the bail application filed by freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, who was arrested for allegedly working for Chinese intelligence. Denying...

Actor Sonu Sood honoured by UNDP

Actor Sonu Sood has been honoured with the prestigious SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for helping thousands...