For those of us who deal with words and publishing, it’s always exciting to see a new technology come on the scene offering to make our jobs a little easier or more efficient. But caveat emptor. (Or is it caveat receptor when it’s free?)

As some of you know, our in-house business planning expert, Tim Berry, is a rather prolific video speaker, with recorded seminars, webinars, and commentary all available online. In an effort to make Tim’s advice more accessible, over the past year we’ve been adding closed captioning to many of his videos. We tried Captiontube, Overstream, and even (the easiest of all) simply transcribing them as .txt files and letting YouTube figure out the timing. It actually did quite a good job.

So you can imagine how pleased we were to hear that YouTube was releasing the ‘Auto caption’ feature to the public, which would use Google’s speech recognition software to automatically transcribe uploaded videos. It sounded too good to be true…

and it was.

A reminder that while new technological advances can be great, if they say it’s beta… well, it’s probably beta.
Just for fun, here’s what else YouTube thought Tim had to say:

“This particular sample fails forecast…”
(we usually call it a sales forecast, but this may be more accurate)

“I’ve got the NBA”
(That would certainly help your investors’ NPV)

“helped to keep your wrinkles strategy”
(ah, yes, it’s all about saving face)

and the first one that had us literally laughing out loud, as Tim tried to advise on metrics that are actually measurable:

“make it all miserable”

Sara Prentice Manela
Palo Alto Software, Inc.

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