Is the emergence of automatic-generated subtitles the end of subtitling?

πŸ’‘ Today’s technological advancements have transformed numerous industries, including subtitle production.

πŸ€– AI-made subtitles can be convenient, but they often fall short in terms of quality and ergonomics, raising concerns about their potential to replace human-made subtitles.

πŸ”Ž Let’s find out the limitations of artificial intelligence-generated subtitles, and why human expertise remains essential for optimal viewing experiences.

Ergonomic Principles of Subtitle Design

πŸ“˜ The guidelines for subtitles aren’t random, but rather crafted with the viewer’s comfort and comprehension in mind.

🎞 The two-line limit, 42-character limit (for Latin alphabet), and frame rate adjustments make subtitles readable, minimizing eye fatigue, and allowing viewers to effortlessly follow the images.

πŸ“½ Herman Weinberg, an American pioneer in subtitling, recognized the importance of these ergonomic principles early on.

πŸ” In the 1920s, he observed the behavior of viewers watching films with subtitles projected by Moviola.

πŸ” He found that viewers primarily moved their eyes along the subtitles, not their heads, suggesting that shorter lines are more comfortable for viewing. This observation laid the foundation for the two-line limit and other ergonomic guidelines.

AI Limitations and Human Expertise

❗ These ergonomic principles are often ignored by artificial intelligence-generated subtitles, creating messy and distracting viewing experiences.

❗ Lines may run across the screen, exceeding the 2-line limit, and segmentation may be incorrect, causing viewers to lose track of the conversation.

❗ AI may be good for short-form content, but its limitations become clear in longer videos.

βœ” Human-made subtitles, on the other hand, are carefully made by professionals who understand the nuances of language and the ergonomic aspects of subtitle design.

βœ” They can adapt to the content, ensuring that subtitles are accurate, readable, and unobtrusive, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

πŸ’‘ This is the reason human proficiency is so crucial when it comes to crafting subtitles that are both precise and pleasurable to read.

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