Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Business realities are impacting all college newspapers. But what happens when they’re for-profit?
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Dec. 16, 2015, 11:44 a.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: www.bbc.co.uk  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   December 16, 2015

The BBC on Wednesday announced a “virtual voiceover” technology pilot, “Today in Video,” to transmit short video news packages in multiple languages, “using automatic translation and synthetic voice technology.”

Here’s a bit on how it works:

The tool, built by BBC News Labs, amalgamates existing technologies and allows a single editor to generate multi-lingual voiceovers on top of an existing video package and script. The script is translated automatically, edited by a journalist, and converted into a computer-generated voiceover. As the project develops automatic subtitles will be added.

The pilot is launching with support for Russian and Japanese. “We know there is a real need for impartial news in Russia,” a spokeswoman told me. The choice was also influenced by the availability of synthetic voices; not all languages are currently available.

Here’s a video of how it looks in action; the journalist can choose his or her favorite synthetic voices, with male and female options.

You can also watch that above video, translated into Japanese and including some subtitles, here.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Business realities are impacting all college newspapers. But what happens when they’re for-profit?
Gannett owns two college newspapers in Florida — it’s closed one and cutting costs at the other.
Where does local TV news fit in the digital age? Tegna, a year separated from Gannett, has some ideas
“By following the lead of our employees to create content that is digital first, it frees them up from the sameness of format that is plaguing local television news.”
Report: The New York Times is expanding to Australia and Canada
Having faced some difficulties with an earlier era’s attempts in large non-English markets, the Times is turning its focus next to more familiar territory.