Has Youtube turned Wiley into (even more of) a raving conspiracy theorist? Video website’s transcribed audio function turns the King Of Grime’s Westwood freestyle into a rant about Clinton, Mossad and Al-Qaida.
Dummy’s mandatory watch of Wiley’s amazing ten-minute freestyle on Tim Westwood’s Radio 1 Saturday night show at the end of 2008 was interrupted this week when we toggled Youtube’s transcribed audio closed caption option. The service, in its beta stage, uses an experimental speech recognition technology to actively transcribe audio into helpful subtitles at the bottom of videos. Which falls flat when it tries to capture Wiley in top form, with his thickly accented flow packed with slang, over grime instrumentals that travel at around 140 bpm.
We chuckled at the mangled pronunciations and nonsensical syntax but what we didn’t expect was the deluge of references to international politics, most notably American domestic and foreign policy, picked up by the automated system. Throughout the ten-minute clip the captions tracks mentions of Al-Qaida, the Clinton adminstration, Mossad, prominent conservatives Pat Buchanan, Bob Dole, Michael Barone) and the billionaire chemical conglomorate and political donors Koch Industries. The barrage is even closed by an “Obama out” call.
Whether Youtube is picking up messages hidden beneath Wiley’s blistering chat or this is simply a computer system malfunctioning is up for debate. Either way you can watch the fascinating freestyle below, with or without transcribed audio depending on the level of your paranoia.