In 2009, Google introduced automated closed captioning for its videos, marking a wonderful advance for the deaf and hard of hearing. Google deserves mega kudos for this advancement. It is not just "better than nothing." The innovation can be truly helpful, and six years later, the tech is still being improved.
That said, there are still major reasons that content makers in general, and churches in particular, should not rely on Google Automatic Captioning (GAC):
(1) GAC distracts from your message.
About 50% of a typical caption is accurate, and the other half is confusing, funny, or even embarrassing. Churches have chosen ReSermon over GAC because profanity keeps showing up in Google’s computer-generated captions, and Google currently doesn’t have a very sophisticated theological vocabulary. Communicating the gospel is challenging enough without GAC's distractions.
(2) GAC is grammatically tone deaf.
GAC is tone deaf. When Google hears, “Let’s eat, Grandpa” it does not know that inserting a comma changes everything, and the difference is deadly; Grandpa is either invited to dinner, or he is dinner.
Google is nowhere close to capably using grammatical conventions to convey human tonal communication.
(3) GAC is SEO on dope
An accurate transcription/closed caption helps your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) much better than a chopped up or half-right transcription. Internet surfers find your content better.
Link: what is SEO?
(4) GAC makes it harder for the media to quote you.
Now, you might wonder why you should care about the media quoting you, so let's revisit ReSermon's mission; we're here to help you repurpose your sermon content into the public square--wherever your particular public square may be. That process begins with an accurate transcription and closed caption.
Would you like a journalist to faithfully report what you actually preached, or what he/she imagined that you preached? Point him to your accurate closed caption, not Google garble. If we're passionate about telling the world what Jesus said about himself, let's resolve to get the quote right.
By English: Cpl Erik Villagran [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons