On September 7, 2023, Dr. Garth Graham announced on YouTube’s official blog the launch of “THE-IQ Creator Program,” a contest for creators of health-related videos, and a pilot for Aloud, a multilingual machine dubbing tool available to selected early access testers on YouTube.
Dr. Graham is YouTube Health’s director/global head, and THE-IQ stands for “Tackling Health Equity Through Information Quality,” a health equity program established by Google in September 2022.
Aloud was introduced as part of Google’s Area 120 In-house Incubator in March 2022, and is available in English, Hindi, Indonesian, Portuguese, and Spanish. The tool works by separating audio and using machine translation (MT) and speech synthesis technologies.
To use Aloud, content creators must have subtitled videos or allow Aloud to create an automated transcription. Creators then edit the transcription, and Aloud machine translates the subtitles to then automatically dub the videos.
Focus on Dubbing Healthcare Videos
In related blog posts, Dr. Graham mentions YouTube Health’s collaboration with multiple healthcare “partners” on the creation and dissemination of health-related information through YouTube Health. In December 2022, Google made Aloud expressly available for use by YouTube’s healthcare partners in India.
This collaboration between YouTube Health and organizations that center their efforts on underrepresented and/or under-resourced communities spans multiple US-based healthcare partners.
These organizations are making their content available in Spanish and Portuguese using the machine dubbing tool, and include a major hospital, two medical information publishers, and notably the Global Health Media Project. The Global Health Media Project is itself an organization with multiple partners such as the United Nations, and a large repository of healthcare videos.
“Making videos in multiple languages is crucial for overcoming language barriers, especially in a healthcare context, yet can be labor intensive for creators.” — Dr. Garth Graham
THE-IQ Creator Program is a skill-based contest for eligible creators from Brazil, Canada, the UK, and the US. Interested parties must submit an entry form, a link to their health-related YouTube channel, and answers to four essay questions by October 5, 2023.
Those who are selected for the program will have access to workshops on YouTube best practices and video production, access to Aloud, up to USD 10,000 to assist with content creation, and a YouTube Health team on hand to review translations.
According to Dr. Graham, the program pilot’s goal is “to scale Aloud with health partners, so that they can more efficiently reach global audiences with critical health information at no cost.”
An article on The Verge states that YouTube plans on adding more languages and features to Aloud in 2024, including synthesizing the video creator’s voice and lip-syncing.