By Andrew Angus on April 18, 2011

Innovation Leads to Automatic Transcribing

We’re big fans of Google around here. We told you in another post about how we use Google Docs to collaborate with our clients and team members during the script writing process. But let’s look at another important way that Google is an innovator – one that affects us directly as producers of explainer videos. 

A lot of phone companies have a directory assistance service – sometimes it’s free, but usually there’s a charge, either when you use it or on your monthly phone bill. And that’s where it ends (oh yeah, sometimes they’ll direct you to the place you’re trying to call – but that’s an extra fee).

Google, on the other hand, launched their own directory assistance service back in 2007, Goog-411 – not to make money, no, but to teach their machines how to talk and listen. By encouraging people from all over the U.S. and Canada to call in for directory assistance, Google’s machines heard thousands of dialects and accents.That led to the incredible advancements in speech-to-text technology that now allow you to upload a written transcript to YouTube and have it automatically converted to closed captions for your video.

For our clients, and any of you who are using web video to explain what you do, that’s a big deal! Because with closed captions, your video all of a sudden will rank on search engine results pages for the keywords that appear ANYWHERE in your script. Your results are not limited to just whatever you enter into the “keywords” field when you’re uploading your video to YouTube.

Voice search and voice input for your mobile device and automatic transcription of Google Voicemail are just a couple of the other super cool sci-fi tricks that came out of Goog-411. Not surprising from a company who built their success by giving us an amazing search tool while they perfected their Adwords model.

We love Bell Canada, we really do, but that’s why Google is Google and Bell is Bell.

 

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