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    Google’s Live Transcribe app is now available offline and will be getting updated to improve its usage. It is pretty common to see people peering at their smartphones while ordering a coffee these days, but for people who are deaf or have hearing impairments, it serves an important purpose. Torontonian Anya Karir is deaf and she uses the app to caption conversations instantly 

    Karir said technology has been very crucial during the pandemic as people are wearing masks. Karir explained that she “lip-read 70 per cent of the time and it’s been very difficult,” as she is a Toronto daycare worker. She said “I’m so tired of asking people to repeat themselves that sometimes I would just nod and pretend like I understood them. So, this helps.”

    Karir explained that the app isn’t perfect yet, because if a child would speak with a soft voice or in a busy space it wouldn’t always capture all the words. Google said it is working on improvements. Dimitri Kanevsky is a research scientist at Google who is working on the technology. He lost his hearing as a child and said the app affects him personally.

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