Microsoft is launching a brand-new accessibility feature for two of its popular programs – Skype and PowerPoint. This feature will ensure that every member of the audience understands the presentation given by the spokesperson. Microsoft pointed out that there are instances where members of the audience are deaf or follow another language, and in these cases, the presentation does not get completely understood.
But, with the help of the new feature, this issue should be solved. In the near feature, whatever the presenter is speaking will get transcribed and captioned in PowerPoint – in real-time. The people watching the presentation will be able to read what the speaker is saying. This feature also provides speech translation, and the speaker can select the language for the subtitles.
When it launches, this tool powered by Artificial Intelligence shall support twelve different spoken languages and will have the capability to screen captions and subs in more than sixty different languages. The company adds that with the help of speech recognition technology, the feature will adjust to what is being shown in the presentation so as to offer a more precise identification of names and terms. The captions and subs will display on the screen, and the presenters can tweak their font size, positioning, and looks.
Microsoft declared a while ago that it desired to utilize AI for social welfare and it started an AI for Accessibility program to achieve that purpose.
Jenny Lay-Flurrie heads the Accessibility team of Microsoft. Since she is hearing-impaired, she will also benefit from the new accessibility tool. With the help of real-time captioning, people with hearing disabilities will be able to view and understand PowerPoint presentations and calls on Skype.
Owing to real-time translations, people speaking different languages will be able to understand what’s going on.
The real-time captions will release from January 2019. Live translation feature for Skype has already been made available.