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IBM Introduces AI-Driven Captioning for Live and On-Demand Video

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In an attempt to make adding closed captions to live and recorded video less of a chore, IBM introduced Watson Captioning today. A standalone service, it uses artificial intelligences (AI) to learn over time and allows companies to add their own glossaries of words and phrases.

Watson Captioning was developed for media companies, explains David Kulczar, senior product manager of Watson Video Analytics at IBM Watson Media. It lets them create and edit captions in streamlined workflows, reducing the costs of doing the work by hand, while meeting regulatory requirements. However, IBM also sees uses for it in the education and enterprise IT markets.

While IBM isn't guaranteeing customers a set level of accuracy with Watson Captioning, the service learns new information over time, reducing errors. Companies can help the process by creating their own custom lists of relevant words and phrases. Using AI, the service looks at video context and the edits made to correct mistakes.

"As we’ve seen a major shift across industries towards video content, companies are faced with new challenges towards meeting costly compliance and production needs," Kulczar says. "Watson Captioning taps IBM’s machine learning technology to meet these needs. It enables media and entertainment companies to produce content that is accessible to all audiences, while empowering production teams and streamlining workflows."

Watson Captioning is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that's part of the IBM Cloud platform, and it's commercially available starting today. It can input any type of video, but will only output in MP4. Pricing is on a tiered system based on how much video is processed, with different prices for live and on-demand content.

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