Ben Poor (EBU)
For EuroVOX, 2022 has seen big leaps forward both in terms of what it can do and in how it is being used. It had already established itself as one of the key components of the EBU’s European Perspective initiative, where EuroVOX is used to transcribe, translate and revoice thousands of articles and videos each day. We see now, however, that there are other domains where it can be applied and may prove to be even more useful.
Activities across the EBU are beginning to take advantage of the straightforward transcription and translation of audio and video content that EuroVOX offers. Beyond the applications in news tools, it is also being used elsewhere in the EBU’s content exchange networks, to provide captions for social media content using the Euroradio Storyboard tool (available to EBU Members via storyboard.ebu.ch), and as part of ongoing work to make the huge library of recordings from EBU events more accessible to a wider audience. There are also promising trials on how EuroVOX could be deployed for on-demand audio content, particularly with longer-form podcasts.
File-based to live
The focus so far has been on working primarily with file-based content, transcribing pre- recorded audio and video content. However, there is an increasing need to deal with live content. This is not just within the EBU itself, where our own events and webinars could be offered in multiple languages, but also for our Members, to help them meet their widened accessibility obligations for both online and broadcast services.
While real-time transcription has long been a part of EuroVOX, this has now been developed into a dedicated application that works end-to- end as a system for automatic captions, alongside the possibility of simultaneous subtitles in a huge range of languages. By using EuroVOX as a single integration point, it is possible for EBU Members to mix and match different providers of transcription and translation technology.
Further developments are anticipated during 2023, with the goal to add functions for treating live content in the existing EuroVOX tool. This would give a user the ability to see transcriptions and translations in real time, with the ability to apply corrections and adjustments before being output as captions and/or subtitles to a live broadcast signal or online stream.
Of course, one of the characteristics of machine-based transcription and translation is that the technology surges forward in terms of its capabilities. The advantage of a project like EuroVOX is that tools and workflows can be built around the premise of providing open and equal access to a wide range of technology vendors. This makes it quicker and easier to use the best capabilities of each, switching between them, and taking advantage of new advances. This also means that we can work with EBU Members to help them with their obligations to make their content more accessible.
EuroVOX is a great example of collaboration between the EBU Technology & Innovation department and EBU Members. The co-development approach ensures that the tool evolves to meet the day-to-day needs of public service media, adding real value for the Members. Learn more and get involved here.
This article first appeared in issue 54 of tech-i magazine.