Live presentations can be thought-provoking, inspirational, and powerful. But not everyone experiences presentations in the same way. We may speak a different language from the presenter, or be a native speaker in another language, and some of us are deaf and hard-of-hearing. So, what if speakers could make their presentations better understood by everyone in the room? Now they can with live captions and subtitles in PowerPoint.

In honor of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Microsoft announced this new feature—powered by artificial intelligence (AI)—which provides captions and subtitles for presentations in real time. Live captions and subtitles in PowerPoint are said to support the deaf and hard-of-hearing community by giving them the ability to read what is being spoken in real time. In addition, captions and subtitles can be displayed in the same language or in a different one, allowing non-native speakers to get a translation of a presentation. At launch, live captions and subtitles will support 12 spoken languages and display on-screen captions or subtitles in one of 60+ languages.

Live captions and subtitles in PowerPoint brings:

  • The power of AI to presenters, so they can convey simple and complex information across subjects and topics.
  • Speech recognition that automatically adapts based on the presented content for more accurate recognition of names and specialized terminology.
  • The ability for presenters to customize the size, position, and appearance of subtitles. Customizations may vary by platform.
  • A peace of mind with security and compliance knowing that the feature meets many industry standards for compliance certifications.

The feature joins other accessible features in Office 365, like automatic suggestions for alt-text in Word and PowerPoint, expanded availability of automatic closed captions and searchable transcripts for videos in Microsoft Stream, enhancements to the Office 365 Accessibility Checker, and more.

Live captions & subtitles in PowerPoint will begin rolling out in late January 2019 and will be available for Office 365 subscribers worldwide for PowerPoint on Windows 10, PowerPoint for Mac, and PowerPoint Online.

Source: Microsoft

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