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Translated captions can be impactful in education settings.

After testing the feature, Google Meet has started rolling out live translated captions widely. Meeting participants will be able to use live translated captions if the meeting is organized by a user in beta or an eligible Google Workspace edition. "The live translated captions beta will remain open for the next several months," the company said in a blogpost.

"Therefore, if you are participating in the beta with a Google Workspace edition not listed as 'Available to' above, your experience will remain the same," it added. Meeting participants can translate English meetings to French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. This feature can be particularly helpful for all-hands meetings or training meetings with globally distributed teams.

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Even one of the world's most powerful tech CEOs can forget to unmute himself during a video chat.

Even one of the world's most powerful tech CEOs can forget to unmute himself during a video chat. For Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, one such embarrassing moment came as he began the chat with Kermit The Frog, a character from Muppets, on Google Meet recently. Sharing the two-minute video clip on Twitter on Wednesday, Pichai said: "Always remember to unmute thanks @KermitTheFrog for joining us on @YouTube #DearEarth and chatting about some of our shared interests."

The video was part of YouTube's "Dear Earth" series which aims to address climate challenges. "Hi there, Sundar," said Kermit, a Muppet character created in 1955, to which, Pichai replied but he was inaudible as he was on mute. "Sundar, I think you are on mute. Wow, can't believe I am talking to the CEO of Google, and he is on mute," Kermit said.

At that point, Pichai realised he was on mute. "Sorry, Kermit. I was on mute, and I've done it a few times this year like everyone else. I'm a huge fan of you and the muppets," replied the Google CEO. The video chat went smooth after the opening glitch, and Kermit The Frog and Pichai spoke about climate issues the world is grappling with. (IANS/ MBI)

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It might be worth it to disable the video function during online conferencing via various tools. Unsplash

As video conferencing remains the only option for millions of workers as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to surge, a new study has challenged the effectiveness of online meetings, suggesting that non-visual communication methods that better synchronize and boost audio cues are, in fact, more effective.

The findings showed that it might be worth disabling the video function during online conferencing via various tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, in order to promote better communication and social interaction during collaborative problem-solving sessions. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the US studied collective intelligence — the ability of a group to solve a wide range of problems — and how synchrony in non-verbal cues helps to develop it.

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Zoom app to launch new features. Flickr

Video conferencing app Zoom said it is working towards making “automatic closed captioning” available for all the free account holders to make the service more accessible. “Among the Zoom Meetings accessibility features we offer to all users are manual closed captioning, keyboard accessibility, pinning or spotlighting interpreter video, screen reader support, and a range of accessibility settings,” the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.

“Now we are excited to announce that we are looking to take our efforts a step further and are working towards making automatic closed captioning available to all of our users in the fall of 2021,” it added. For a free user who needs access to the feature, the company is allowing users to manually request access to the Live Transcription feature via a Google Form.

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