YouTube's removal of community captions last year was viewed by some as a blow for global users who relied on the tool for translations. In its absence, viewers have been forced to rely on automatic and manually uploaded subtitles that can often be unreliable. Well, it seems the importance of strong YouTube translation features isn't lost on Google. According to Android Police, the company is experimenting with a new tool that automatically translates English into a user's native language.
Select users have reportedly started seeing translation options for video titles, descriptions, and closed captions on YouTube on the web, desktops and the mobile app. Thus far, people have spotted automatic translations of English into Portuguese and English into Turkish. It's unclear how widespread the test is, though it's apparently the result of a server-side change. For the time being, at least, that means it is limited to testers and isn't being rolled out as an app update.
Of course, Google has the AI prowess to expand the tool. The company's Translate feature is the web's most popular interpreter with support for 108 languages (at last count). And seeing as YouTube is a truly worldwide service with localized versions in more than 100 countries, it seems like the perfect fit for more AI-powered speech and text tools.