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YouTube will now let viewers correct auto-generated captions

The new experimental feature allows viewer-suggested fixes for auto-captions on desktop.

Published onMarch 19, 2024

YouTube premium app on smartphone stock photo (5)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • YouTube viewers on desktop can suggest corrections for captions on some English channels.
  • Video creators will be able to see these suggestions and incorporate them if necessary.
  • The feature is currently available to limited users only.

While YouTube has offered auto-generated captions for videos for quite some time, their accuracy can be a mixed bag. To address the inconsistencies and improve accessibility, YouTube is currently testing a new feature that allows viewers to suggest corrections for auto-generated captions on its videos.

First spotted by Android Police, the YouTube Help page has been updated to mention a new viewer-suggested corrections feature. This feature is in early testing and is currently limited to desktop YouTube for a select group of English-language channels with auto-captions enabled.

If you find yourself watching a video included in the test, you can suggest edits by clicking on the gear icon, followed by Subtitles, and then Suggest caption corrections. This will bring you to a transcript view where you can pinpoint specific captions for changes using a pencil icon, submit your suggestions, and confirm with a check mark.

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To prevent redundancies and promote valuable suggestions, viewers can also upvote existing suggestions made by others. Viewers can click on red captions in the transcript to see other existing suggestions and give them a thumbs-up for increased visibility.

It’s important to note that during this testing phase, suggested edits won’t be automatically applied to captions viewed by everyone. However, creators of the videos with suggested corrections will be able to access them through the transcript panel. This will allow them to review suggested changes and potentially incorporate them for future viewers.

It’s unclear if and when this feature will be available to the public. The YouTube blog post concludes, “We’re looking forward to collecting feedback and using this experiment to make videos more accessible for all viewers!”

Regardless, this viewer-driven approach to improving auto-generated captions could significantly enhance the viewing experience for those who rely on subtitles. This could especially be the case for content with strong accents, technical jargon, or background noise that can trip up captioning algorithms.

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