Add your own silent movie titles with Google’s Peanut Gallery Web Speech demo

Google’s latest Chrome Experiment aims to demonstrate the browser’s ability to turn speech into text by letting users add intertitles to old film clips by speaking into their computer’s microphone

Google’s latest Chrome Experiment aims to demonstrate the browser’s ability to turn speech into text by letting users add intertitles to old film clips by speaking into their computer’s microphone

Google has recently developed a Web Speech API for Chrome which enables users to interact with their browser via speech rather than using the keyboard. This latest project from Google Creative Lab is an attempt to demonstrate the abilities of the API, but in an engaging, fun way.

At Peanut Gallery Films, users can choose a film clip and add their own title screens by speaking into their microphone (using Chrome and with the API installed, of course). Those clips can then be shared with friends. Why Peanut Gallery? Apparently it was the nickname for the cheap seats in early American cinemas.

It’s not perfect – Google recommends you speak slowly and clearly, punctuation must be added by saying ‘question mark’, ‘period’ etc and you can only use ‘regular dictionary words’. When we tried it, “My mother is upstairs” came out as “My mother is a test” and, bizarrely, our attempt to start our clip by shouting “Action!” came out as “Vagina Action”!! And, of course, one of the first things we tried was swearing which disappointingly is asterisked out.

But it’s a lot of fun and will no doubt prove far more effective at sharing the news about Google’s latest technical development than any dry press statement might do.

Design note: the lettering used in the project is by Jessica Hische.

 

 

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