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Sunday, 18 September 2022

The youths like to turn on subtitles for more than hearing assistance + Urban surveillance puts the reality behind Instagram posts on display

It’s not just about watching foreign shows — subtitles are becoming trendy. More viewers, especially younger ones, use closed captioning tools on their streaming and social media apps such as Netflix and TikTok videos, the Wall Street Journal reports. While closed captions, which display text in the same language as the audio, have long been important for hearing-impaired people, they have become a must-have for many people who don’t suffer hearing loss. They assist them in understanding audio and allowing them to multitask, several people told the WSJ. Some 70% of Gen Z respondents (aged 18 to 25) and 53% of millennial respondents (aged up to 41) reported watching videos with text most of the time in a recent study by language-learning app Preply cited by the journal. In comparison, just slightly more than a third of older respondents said they watch subtitled-content.

Why do they do it? There are several reasons for turning on subtitles or captions, including the desire to learn a new language or the inability to understand a speaker's accent or mumbled words. (Not to mention the viewers who just want to know the dialogue that’s happening as they munch on noisy snacks.) All the tech giants are catching up: Netflix, Apple, Google, Meta, and Tiktok have all increased on-device auto-captioning options in recent years. According to a Netflix representative, the number of people using captions and subtitles has more than doubled since 2017.

An Instagram versus reality art installment shows ubiquity of urban surveillance: Belgian artist Dries Depoorter, who used AI to cross-reference Instagram influencers’ posts with open street camera surveillance footage from EarthCam, shows how easy it is to locate people by combining AI with publicly available data points, reports Bloomberg. Depoorter’s two-minute video project, “The Follower,” has since been removed from YouTube due to a copyright claim by EarthCam. Depoorte’s past works have dealt extensively with subjects like surveillance, privacy, social media and machine learning.

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