Sorry Google, YouTube Captions Aren’t for the Deaf. They’re for Your Robots.

Google, who owns YouTube, rolled out auto-captioning for English language videos yesterday.  All videos with a clear English audio track will have automatically-generated captions.

At the press conference a deaf engineer did the product demo and students from the California School for the Deaf in Fremont came on stage.  Google is painting this development as a service to the hearing impaired.

But that’s not Google’s true motivator.

Changing audio into text lets Google spiders index the content of YouTube videos.

The spiders don’t understand audio so they can’t index videos for search.  But with YouTube audio available in text form, a huge and invisible chunk of the web is opened up to Google’s search technology.

This will be a watershed for Google.  It is a good time to buy Google stock.  The company will make a lot of money selling advertising on these newly-indexed videos. Here’s what to expect: