Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that both PowerPoint and Skype will be getting real-time captions and subtitles beginning in 2019. The intention of the new feature is to be more inclusive and allow individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing the ability to more easily follow presentations in PowerPoint or spoken audio during Skype calls.
The captions are said to based on Microsoft’s ongoing work in artificial intelligence (AI) to provide captions and translations. According to Microsoft, the subtitles and captions will be customizable and the speech recognition should adapt for more accurate terminology based on context.
For PowerPoint, captions and subtitles can be displayed in the same language or in a different one, allowing non-native speakers to get a translation of a presentation. At time of launch, live captions and subtitles will support 12 spoken languages and display on-screen captions or subtitles in one of 60+ languages.
A video on the technology for PowerPoint is shown below:
The live captioning technology is said to begin rolling out in late January 2019.