Zoom has added English-language ASR (automatic speech recognition) captioning to Zoom. Currently the meeting or webinar host must use the Captioning/Live Transcript feature to turn on ASR captions for all participants during a meeting. In future updates, Zoom plans to enable participants to turn Live Transcript on and off for themselves and to support additional languages.
ASR transcription uses computer algorithms to analyze audio and translate sounds identified as speech into text. With live transcription, this analysis is performed almost in real time, and text displayed with a delay of several seconds. Accuracy can be very good if speakers speak clearly, slowly, near a microphone and without ambient noise; however, even under these conditions, technical terms, acronyms, and non-English words may not render correctly.
Although ASR captions can be a helpful adjunct for many meeting participants, the speed and accuracy levels are usually not sufficient to replace human-generated (CART) captioning as an accommodation for participants with hearing disabilities. If you have a hearing impaired student in a class/webinar, you must reach out to Deb Alder, Director of Access Services (email@example.com) to arrange human-generated captions (CART) services. Organizers of non-course related events should arrange CART services if participants request it as an accommodation; see Captioning for more information.