Google has rolled out automatic speech-to-text captioning to all YouTube videos, in an effort to make the site more enjoyable for the hard of hearing.
The site-wide push follows an extended test of the service that started on selected channels only in November. It is currently available only in English. Viewers can activate captions by clicking the CC button in the player.
The service is currently in beta, and comes with a prominent warning that the technology is “experimental”, and they're not kidding.
Barack Obama's latest video to the American people, for example, sees the President condemn ponds and singers, offer tax credits to the Mafia and suggest Israel gave a woman cancer, before generously offering health insurance, or possibly “system functions”, to a whopping forty people.
Nevertheless, the service is a big leap forward for the hard-of-hearing, including Google evangelist and Internet inventor Vint Cerf, a double hearing-aid user, who backs the captioning service.