18 August, 2011
The wisdom of computers
Software which could successfully handle the live feed directly would be really, really impressive. Imagine code which can faithfully transcribe the words of Neil Nunes reporting from a noisy outside broadcast location. Now that would be something special; and jolly useful too — you could listen to the irritating bastard with the sound turned down.
But the existing technology is pretty damned clever. Most of the time. Sometimes it has ideas of its own.
On yesterday's BBC News, during a report on Stephen House's candidature for the top job at the Met, the subtitles starting banging on about
... Antiguan operations ...Antiguan operations? Is there much Antiguan crime in Glasgow then? Most of the Antiguan people I've met have been honest upstanding types. Do they have a dark seceret, perchance? It's only a small island; surely there can't be enough ex-pat Antiguans to cause a Scottish crimewave. Then the captions operator keyed in a correction
...anti-gang operations ...Phew! Normality restored.
And then the weather forecast came on and the presenter promised us, at least according to the subtitles,
A Sunni start.Aargh! The shape of things to come?
I always turn the electricity off when confronted with his faux-Jim Davidson accent.
It's really too much to bear.