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NYTimes.com Article: Closed Captions, Refreshed Without a Racing Typist

From: <aardit@voa.gov>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 15:20:17 -0400 (EDT)
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-Id: <20031009192017.8CB5E35044@web38t.prvt.nytimes.com>

This article from NYTimes.com 
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Closed Captions, Refreshed Without a Racing Typist

October 9, 2003


For deaf users, the Internet was initially a great leveler.
But that is quickly changing. "With broadband and
multimedia, the Internet is moving away from being a level
playing field," said Thomas Wlodkowski, the director of
accessibility for America Online. 

Now AOL has begun to introduce closed captioning for some
of the multimedia programming on the service. To develop
its system, AOL formed a partnership with the Media Access
Group at the Boston public television station WGBH, which
introduced captioning to television during a 1972 broadcast
of "The French Chef" with Julia Child. 

Three decades later, television captioning still relies on
humans to type in text. But Mr. Wlodkowski said that the
volume of multimedia material on the Web made that approach
impractical. And although voice recognition technology has
improved, it cannot accurately transcribe material created
by a large number of different voices. What AOL came up
with is a service that is partly automated and works only
for broadcasts that are based on scripts, like news shows.
Voice recognition software picks out certain words and uses
them to synchronize with text on the screen that has been
taken from the script. 

Mr. Wlodkowski expects that the captioning service, besides
appealing to deaf users, might find a following among
office workers who want to view streaming video without
bothering their colleagues or attracting the boss's
attention. Ian Austen 



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Received on Thursday, 9 October 2003 15:20:20 UTC

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