Is There Such a Thing as a “Captions AI Tool?”

By: Verbit Editorial
woman capturing a photo with a mobile phone

Recent research suggests that nearly 70% of the digital content audience watches video content on smartphones rather than on televisions and computers. With so many viewers watching on mobile devices, it’s important for business leaders and content creators to carefully consider ways to deliver more engaging, mobile-friendly digital videos.

As the popularity of digital and mobile content exploded in recent years, so has the demand for assistive technology solutions like closed captioning. Captions have the power to make video content more engaging and accessible for viewers of all backgrounds and abilities, regardless of whether they choose to view content on mobile phones or on more traditional devices. For this reason, some professionals may be interested in using a captions AI tool to streamline the captioning process and support their production efforts and scale. Let’s discuss some of the artificial intelligence-powered captioning solutions available today and determine when it makes sense to use this kind of technology.

Video Captioning: The Basics

Captioning refers to the process of converting audio and video to on-screen text. Most often, captions appear at the bottom of a video-viewing window and sync with the recorded audio track. There are two primary styles of captioning: open captioning and closed captioning. Open captions are permanently affixed to a video. In other words, viewers can’t turn these on and off. Closed captions, on the other hand, provide viewers more control over their captioning preferences as they can turn them on and off via remote control or on-screen menu options.

Captions are a highly valuable accessibility tool because they offer more equitable content experiences to viewers with certain disabilities. For example, audience members who are Deaf or hard of hearing benefit substantially from the presence of accurate captions. Similarly, individuals with auditory processing disorders and specific learning needs may be able to engage more fully with captioned content. For mobile users, closed captions can help provide more accurate and consistent messaging by safeguarding against hard-to-control variables like background noise, poor audio quality or slow internet connectivity.

What is a Captions AI Tool?

Manually captioning video content can be tedious and time-consuming, and hiring a professional captioner tends to be cost-prohibitive for many content creators and business leaders. As a result, many developers opt to create fully automatic digital captioning tools that run on artificial intelligence software. The average captions AI tool uses automatic speech recognition software or ASR to interpret human speech and represent it as text.

Many AI-powered captioning solutions generate closed captions via a simple upload/download process. When a user uploads a video to a captioning platform, the AI software analyzes it to generate a caption file. Some media hosting and video editing sites feature built-in AI algorithms for captioning, so users can avoid using a third-party captioning solution.

Features and Functionality of Captions AI Tools

Automatic captions generation can make the captioning process more convenient and cost-effective for many creators and other professionals. Some key features and functions of AI-powered captioning solutions include:

  • Multilingual captioning
  • Software integrations with video editing and media hosting platforms
  • Font customization
  • Non-speech captioning (i.e., sound effects, music, etc.)
  • Live captioning

These user-friendly captioning tools are highly advanced and constantly evolving. However, it is important to understand that artificial intelligence has some limitations. While AI solutions are capable of highly advanced speech recognition, captions many free captioning tools create results that contain a substantial number of errors. These flaws can negatively impact their use as an accessibility tool.

Creators looking to employ captioning for accessibility purposes must invest in captioning solutions that deliver highly accurate final results. This is because modern accessibility standards like the ADA and WCAG require consistently high rates of accuracy to provide sufficiently equitable content experiences to viewers with disabilities. As a result, those professionals looking to enhance their content with accurate captions should consider using professional solutions.

Captions AI Tool in Marketing and Branding

Many AI captioning tools offer additional features that can maximize the value and utility of users’ captions. The ever-evolving role of AI technology in marketing leads to professionals actively seeking out AI solutions to help them streamline their standard workflows. For example, many professionals now use AI for social media captions to cut back on the time they would otherwise spend writing tedious copy for social media posts.

Similarly, recent advances in technology make enhancing captions with AI easier than ever. Multilingual captioning AI efficiently creates translations for creators who aim to caption in multiple languages and better support their global audiences. It is also possible to use AI captioning for branding purposes, as adding captions to digital video content improves a brand’s SEO ranking and increases overall visibility and engagement.

Some captioning platforms – such as Verbit’s – make it easy for users to convert their caption files to long-form transcripts to further support the diverse needs of their viewers. Verbit’s platform also boasts a set of generative AI tools that make transcripts more interactive and useful for the average consumer.

Evaluating AI Caption Generators

There are several AI-powered captioning solutions available to today’s consumers, and it’s important for users to carefully consider their needs and those of their audience when attempting to select the right tool. As previously discussed, accuracy is one of the most critical metrics consumers should use when evaluating AI caption generators.

If you intend for your project is intended to have widespread use, you’ll need to deliver accuracy rates high enough to support accessibility requirements. Failing to provide audience members with accurate captions can negatively impact the public’s perception of your brand and result in non-compliance with legal standards like the ADA.

Professionals looking for a reliable, accurate and convenient AI-powered captioning solution may want to consider partnering with Verbit for their captioning needs. Verbit’s platform uses proprietary AI software in conjunction with the expertise of professionally trained human captioners to generate caption files accurate enough to support accessibility requirements. Verbit also offers streamlined captioning workflows for both recorded and live content, as well as seamless software integrations with popular media hosting and communication platforms like YouTube and Zoom.

Verbit delivers the speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of other popular AI captioning tools while providing users with consistently accurate captions that effectively support audience members of diverse backgrounds and abilities.

Leaning on AI for a More Accessible Future

We have all borne witness to the growing prevalence of AI in digital media, and AI captioning is just the next major step in that evolution. The future of AI in captioning is bright and alluring, and with time, technology will certainly make a massive impact on the way we produce, consume and share digital media content.

Whether you’re looking to add captions to a YouTube video or need to caption your next Zoom meeting, Verbit’s platform offers the support you need. To learn more about what sets Verbit apart or to explore our full suite of assistive technology solutions for audio and video content, reach out today to speak to a member of our team.