YouTube Text Recognition

YouTube’s ability to auto-captioning the speech in videos has been steadily improving and is now generally very impressive (For example, in the video linked below, I only noticed a couple of small errors, like where the spoken word ‘affect’ was transcribed as ‘effect’, ‘its’ was transcribed as ‘it’s’ and ‘a more mature tone’ became ‘a more mature tongue’).

But today for the first time I noticed that they also seem to be able to recognize text in videos. For example, see this video from The Onion: ‘TIME Announces New Version Of Magazine Aimed At Adults


Not only was YouTube seemingly able to identify the main text, but it also seems to have recognized the small text that says “Still Ahead This Hour”.

Very impressive. (Or, someone at The Onion was responsible for typing in this text and got ‘affect’ and ‘its’ wrong and didn’t capitalize ‘Congress’, in which case, shame on them. So, either YouTube rocks or The Onion is staffed by retards – I’m not certain which yet.)

One other thing that occurred to me: The Google cars that take the photos for Google’s Street View must encounter a lot of text printed on business signs and so forth. I’ll bet that Google is processing those images the same way.

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