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Instagram rolls out AI-powered captions for IGTV to help users with disabilities

Instagram has launched AI-powered automatic captions for better accessibility of IGTV.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | September 16, 2020 | Updated 12:47 IST

Highlights

  • Instagram has introduced AI-powered captions for IGTV users with impairments.
  • The captions can be accessed even when the volume is turned down.
  • The captions can be turned on by going to Settings or from an in-video dropdown menu.

Instagram has brought in AI-powered automatic captions for IGTV that will make it easy for users to access the app. Users will now be able to access captions on IGTV even when they turn the volume down. The feature is designed to help users for better accessibility. The captions on IGTV can be switched on by going to Settings or from an in-video dropdown menu. Captions will be available in 16 languages. The feature can be of help to people having hearing disabilities.

"Audio within Instagram videos is unique in that there are a variety of different languages, topics, acoustic conditions, cultural slang and accents," a Facebook company representative told CNet. "Auto-captioning videos requires cutting-edge research and engineering to power the artificial intelligence that we use in the process."

IGTV was launched in 2018 for video creators posting content over one minute.

In 2018, Instagram launched alternate text that allows people with visual impairments to hear descriptions of photos through their screen reader while using Feed, Explore, and Profile. Instagram also rolled out custom alternative text that allows users to add stronger descriptions of their photos when uploading. People using screen readers are then able to hear these descriptions.

Facebook also launched a handful of accessibility features lately, including scalable font sizes and contextual headings recently. The scalable font sizes will make it easier for visually impaired users to read text across a page. Facebook also rolled out changes to headings, which allow people to use screen readers to better navigate and understand a page's structure. Facebook added screen reader announcements that inform users when their action, such as posting a comment or sending a message, was successful.

Last month, Google Duo rolled out captions for audio and video messages for Android and iOS. The captions will appear at the bottom of the screen right above the call button once users open their voice messages. These messages will come in handy for users who are in a noisy place and are unable to place the phone to their ear.

Captions for Messages feature in Duo works only with recorded audio or video messages and not with live calls. This feature is available on both iOS and Android.

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