Thursday, August 26, 2010

Accidental humour

If you haven’t tried it already, the YouTube “Transcribe Audio” feature accidentally creates all sorts of silliness and mirth. Today I saw a brilliant example.

My buddy Mark (from Slap Upside the Head) sent me the YouTube link for Air Canada’s Safety Video for the A319 (after the discussion here the other day about Air New Zealand’s deliberate use of humour in their safety video). So you click on that link, go to YouTube, then, as Mark advised: “Click the CC icon and choose ‘transcribe audio’ for a fascinating look into the mind of Google's AI.”

So I did, of course, and what frankly would've been a totally dreary video without that helpful hint became so much more. I’ll share what I learned from the captions:

"The question Susan that it's difficult Lee Iacocca." (of course it is)

Of electronic devices: "You don't want to use it on the news or internal struggles in this instance think tank." (always sound advice)

Current affairs: "Senator that's really the UN going to have some equity the said seventy six o'clock o'clock." ("seventy six o'clock o'clock" is a meeting time required by agents of the New World Order—little known fact. It's the time the black helicopters take off to read the silicon chips in people's heads)

Reading comprehension is tested after reading the instruction card: "Been tested on a question two thousand the channel was enough to beat the clock." (clearly the questions are easy enough to answer 2,000 of them before landing; what a relief!)

In an emergency: "Polka mass to would seem use the support staff to hold a mask over your mouth and no… but just two months. (call me paranoid, but personally I have concerns about staff holding a mask over my mouth at all, let alone for two months)

Steve is annoying: "Steve you've been asking that… since these internet but it has to come in the midst of a tiny people… steven the last… his TV and on and on." Apparently, Steve's on American Idol, or similar: “Make it crucial votes amassed have bought a ticket."

Neighbourliness: "Always secure your own mascot for assisting in and in person." (mascots are always helpful)

However, I see a political agenda: "But see that's a question… but you have to talk with you… silicon chip until that time is the don't see how cynical… the abortion issue that to do something about it." It adds later, "The leftist should only be inflated is in the the aircraft." (they want to leave the leftists behind!)

"Mr. Douglas was Canada." (I always wondered who Mr. Douglas was)

This is just a bit of silliness, and it worked so hilariously because part of narration is in French (of course), which is where most—but certainly not all—of the bizarre transcription comes from. One day, this feature will probably work perfectly, and the fun will be gone.

But for now, it makes even boring videos into some of the most entertaining things on the Internet. And we can all use a little harmless fun.

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