Google brings real-time closed captioning to Slides

The feature will make presentations more accessible to audiences that are deaf or hard of hearing.

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Google on Monday will begin rolling out automated closed captioning to Google Slides for US English, a feature that will make presentations more accessible to audiences that are deaf or hard of hearing.

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The feature uses the microphone on a presenter's computer to detect the spoken presentation and displays written captions on screen in real time. It works for a single user presenting in US English on a laptop or desktop computer, using the Chrome browser. Google plans to expand the feature to more countries and languages eventually.

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Designing for accessibility is important, given that one in five people will have a disability in their lifetime, Google stressed at last year's I/O conference. Still, as Patrick Clary, product manager on accessibility engineering, told ZDNet last year, accessibility features can improve a product for all audiences.

Also: Microsoft using AI to empower people living with disabilities

This new closed-captioning feature, for instance, could benefit audiences in a noisy location or in spaces with poor sound settings. Google also noted Monday that closed captioning can help a presenter speaking a non-native language or who has trouble projecting their voice.

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