Speech Recognition Gaffe of the Week: Hilarious BBC Live Captions

March 8, 2013 BY SHANNON K. MURPHY
Updated: January 4, 2018

This week’s speech recognition gaffe of the week comes with a twist as we discuss live events. Across the pond, BBC has been getting flack from deaf and hard of hearing viewers for less-than-stellar captions and subtitles. For example, during the Queen Mother’s funeral, a call for silence became ‘we will now have a moment’s violence’! Obviously the threshold for error rises during live captioning despite captioning professionals working in earnest to avoid these blunders. (See the hard work that goes into ESPN’s live captioning process) The below comedic video however, attributes these live errors to speech recognition. While 3Play does not offer live captioning, we understand there are some complex dynamics only improved through testing and time.

Mock of the Week is comedy show which actually airs on BBC. At least they can take a joke at their own expense, right?

Watching this video with YouTube auto captions lends to some additional humor, as I don’t think it processes British accents so well. Hopefully the BBC speech recognition software is having the same issues?

Note, much media coverage on this subject dates back to 2011, but there is Page 888, a blog covering live subtitling mistakes on British TV stations.

Read the free report: 2017 State of Captioning.

The closed caption CC icon shown in the middle of a TV.