Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Outgoing New York Times CEO Mark Thompson thinks there won’t be a print edition in 20 years
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 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Outgoing New York Times CEO Mark Thompson thinks there won’t be a print edition in 20 years
Also, the Times now reaches about half of American millennials.
How do you run a fun membership drive in sad pandemic times? Maximum Fun has some ideas
Plus: What Spotify wants premium advertising to sound like, claims of systemic racism at PRX, BBC pushes for podcast audiences in Africa, and can Serial stay special?
People are using Facebook and Instagram as search engines. During a pandemic, that’s dangerous.
Data voids on social networks are spreading misinformation and causing real world harm. Here are some ideas on how to fix the problem.