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YouTube’s AI can now describe sound effects

YouTube has had automated captions for its videos since 2009, and now it’s expanding the feature to include captions for sound effects. The video service uses machine learning to detect sound effects in videos and add the captions [APPLAUSE], [MUSIC], and [LAUGHTER] to millions of videos.

While those three were some of the most frequent manually captioned sounds, YouTube says it’s only in the early stages of making improvements for its deaf and hard of hearing users. The company says captions like ringing, barking, and knocking are next in line, but those require more deciphering than simple laughter or music.

The improved captions are now available on YouTube.


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