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Google Meet Is Adding Live, Translated Captions To Its Meeting Interface

Google Meet has started beta testing on a brand new feature: live, translated captions during meetings.

The internet can be a very hostile and toxic place, no doubt about it. That's to be expected when you stuff essentially over half of the world's population into an online space where everyone can interact with each other. However, it's best to remember that this very online experience is what makes the internet special as well. The ability to interact with people thousands of kilometers and entire continents away, and bond over both similarities and distances is a marvel that previous generations wouldn't have ever though possible. Certainly not on this scale, at least. This is also why there should be a constant focus towards making this space as accessible as possible for everyone.

YouTube's had both live and translated captions for quite a while now. It's a nice way of ensuring that people who struggle with different languages, or simply face difficulties in hearing due to illnesses or trauma, can easily connect with any sort of material. This way, they can be on the same platform as more able bodied individuals, and stay just as informed about topics and trends. The drawback, naturally, comes in the form of automatic or live closed captions being written by AI. AI has come far since its infancy, but is still bound by the fact that is very much not human. Translation errors, incorrect wording, and audio skips are encountered regularly. But users on the platform can also put up their own premade captions, making the process easier.

Google Meet has seen a lot of popularity since the pandemic, along with Zoom (Skype is still nowhere to be seen). It's an easy way of conducting formal sessions and conferences with fellow employees and business associates, but can also be used for more casual fare with friends and family. For individuals with impaired hearing, the new feature of live translated captions makes Meet even more enticing. Sure, it's easier to make calls with FaceTime or WhatsApp, but can they offer translations and captions in real time? The answer, sadly, is no. However, we do look forward to such a day when the answer is yes.

The feature's currently being beta tested to iron out problems and whatnot. It might even be available before the end of year. Translated captions have been here for a while now. Making them go live was simply the next best step.
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