Google Really Sucks At Speech Transcription (“uterus publication i saw a t-shirt uh…”)

I was just now checking out a video recording that Lenny Murphy, founding partner at Gen2 Advisors and the GreenBook blog‘s head honcho (that is, I don’t know what his title there is) made of a chat he and I had about social media, market research, and sentiment analysis technologies. (GreenBook is a media sponsor of my up-coming Sentiment Analysis Symposium, May 7-8, 2013 in New York.) I was checking out the recording on YouTube, of course bought by Google back in 2006, and…

I tried out the Transcript function. What a laugh. See for yourself:

YouTube video, “Interview with Social Media/Text Analytics Guru Seth Grimes”

And the YouTube/Google-generated transcript:

0:01 good morning everybody this is larry murphy
0:04 with agreement blog in joining me today insisting that the thing that surprised
0:08 gruesome than l suspects analytics and uh… we’re going to talk a little bit
0:13 belt
0:13 several suspects politics as well as
0:16 assess upcoming upcoming event bsn analysis of presumed which i think will
0:21 be intense interest everybody here in iraq works saw setup self
0:25 mata hari
0:27 and i’m glad that i do other famously berkeley had side if you do have this
0:31 conversation with me
0:32 captured in overhead srinagar from our our or fairness issue wouldn’t be able
0:37 to uh… only experienced sat
0:39 such not support the defense in your own little world however faded as better
0:44 uterus publication i saw a t-shirt uh…
0:48 organize rule
0:50 you know allegedly myo mine and i thought i really needed that feature for
0:54 myself but uh… and classic beyond that it’s not that i think you got the big
0:59 get that
1:00 but apartment

That’s one minute’s worth. There’s more, another 20+ minutes of witty repartee between Lenny and me, egregiously mistranscribed. You can produce the transcript for yourself by going to the non-embedded video and clicking the Transcript button Transcript.

Don’t get me wrong: I hugely appreciate all the amazing things Google does for us for free. (Yeah, yeah, I know: “If you don’t pay for a service, you’re the product, not the customer.”) You can even hear me praise Google in my chat with Lenny. But I have to say, it’s a relief that there are things Google isn’t great at. I just hope that whoever implemented YouTube speech transcription isn’t working on Google’s self-driving car project.

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