Today, YouTube is rolling out automatic captioning for all videos uploaded to the service, using Google's speech recognition service. You can see a demo in the video above.
Automatic captioning with Google speech recognition was launched in November. This only had a few selected education partners to test out automatic captioning, until now.
There are many reasons for captions on every video: ESL viewers, people in other countries, searchability, not wanting to disturb others, loud locations and automatic translations to other countries.
The captioning won't be perfect, since Google's speech recognition isn't perfect, but it is really, really cool, and is sort of one step toward the goal of speech to speech recognition in real time that Google is aiming for. By testing pre-recorded videos, they can help refine the tech on something that isn't as vital or time sensitive, in order for it to be used in something that is—phone conversations.