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profoundly yours the abledbody blog

Ah, video and search. Frank Sinatra said it best: Try, try, try to separate them – it’s an illusion. Here’s proof of that: Speech Technology. This week, Google sealed the deal on video search capabilities for its YouTube portal, saying it would provide auto-captions for all of its uploaded videos using proprietary Google’s Speech Technology. Google’s initiative, piloted in November, began with a handful of partner channels including PBS, Stanford University and National Geographic. It has now expanded to all uploaded English-speaking videos, with more languages to be added later this year. With this news, Google establishes itself as a frontrunner in the Internet programming space. As a company built on search, search, and more search, Google is now able to capitalize on its investment in speech-to-text technology to index videos, target advertising and create an actual profit margin for YouTube. In fact, video search is likely why Google acquired YouTube in ... keep reading »
I knew Google Voice would have multiple uses for people who are deaf and hearing impaired, but I didn’t expect this news to come so fast: Google is adding automatic captions to YouTube videos. Google announced the news today on its official Google blog, and while the feature is definitely a work-in-progress, it’s an exciting start to machine-generated video captions. Many people know that Google created a YouTube caption system about a year ago. It required users to upload captions themselves, a time-consuming process, which meant that most videos did not get captioned and were inaccessible to people with hearing impairments. With the new “auto-caps”, Google is combining its automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology with the YouTube caption system. Auto-caps use the same voice recognition algorithms in Google Voice to automatically generate captions for video. “The captions will not always be perfect, but even when they’re off, they can still be helpful,” ... keep reading »
Things aren’t letting up for Amazon. Under recent pressure from the Authors Guild, Amazon has allowed authors and publishers to disable the text-to-speech function on any or all of their e-books available for the Kindle 2. Now, no fewer than nine disability organizations are leading a fight to persuade Amazon, authors and publishers to make all books on the Kindle 2 book reader available in audio format to people with sight and reading disabilities. Brown, Goldstein & Levy, a law firm representing the National Federation for the Blind, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the International Dyslexia Association, and other groups sent a letter to six publishing houses denouncing Amazon’s decision with the Authors Guild. The groups asked Amazon, authors and publishers to turn text-to-speech back on for all books offered on mainstream devices. While the Authors Guild has long waived copyright fees for audio formats for people who are ... keep reading »
The latest innovation from Google is Google Latitude, which pinpoints the location of your friends and family on a map. This application excites me to no end because of its possibilities for aiding the disabled, like the deaf and hard of hearing. I think back to the early ‘00s, before I had my cochlear implant and relied on a hearing-aid. I was unable to hear on the telephone and SMS (text messaging) was available only if you and your friends used the same service provider. A typical Friday night: “We’re at McFadden’s!” my friends would scream into the phone. “The corner of 49th and Second avenues!” In the midst of noisy Manhattan, I can’t decipher what they’re saying and I don’t know where to direct the cab driver. I give up and go home. Beyond drinking adventures, the deaf and hearing-impaired can, conceivably, use Google Latitude if they lose their ... keep reading »

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