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Questions about Stanford-Bot's autocaptions

I first came across Standford-Bot ( some months ago because it had made automatic captions for a video someone asked something about in this forum. Unfortunately I can't find the thread anymore. But I remember someone had deleted its autocaptions and started again from scratch, then given up. Yet these autocaptions weren't all that bad, I thought: at least they were timecoded correctly and the content was good enough to be editable in less time than it would take to redo all the captions from scratch.

Nevertheless, some participants of the Coursera team - which, together with the Coursera Prep private team,  the Standford-Bot seems to exclusively haunt so far - dislike it: see How bad is machine transcription?, Help writing subtitles! and the June 14, 2012 update of  Things to watch out for if you want to work on Coursera’s subtitles:.

But this dislike seems to be caused by a lack of explanation of the Standford-Bot's nature and workings. And as Amara users who are not members of the Coursera team might also start subtitling one of its videos where the bot is active, perhaps you might explain about it?

For instance:

  • Who made and manages the Stanford-Bot?
  • Might it also get added to other Amara teams than Coursera?
  • Does it delete human captions with its automatic ones?
  • Is it Open Source?
  • Does it work only for English videos, or also for videos in other languages?
  • Does correcting its autocaptions create a feedback that improves it?

To be quite candid: I'm also interested in the Stanford-Bot because I write a small column about Web tools for the Swiss-Italian consumers' bimonthly Spendere Meglio, and we've agreed I'd do the next one about automatic captioning: for the print version, where I only have 2'300 characters, I'll concentrate on YouTube autocaptioning, which was activated for Italian last month. But there's also an online version of the column, and I'd like to expand a bit on other autocaptioning tools.

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