BBC Sport have apologised after a subtitling error during Scotland’s 6 Nations clash with England on Saturday – but Nigel Owens saw the funny side.
The broadcaster uses voice recognition software to generate subtitles in real time, and although it works well for the vast majority of time, sometimes it can go wrong at the most unfortunate moments.
At the time of the mistake, Owens had just given Scotland a penalty, to which BBC commentator Andrew Cotter said “Owens is saying penalty and a yellow.”
However, the subtitle generator picked it up as…
The match coverage quickly changed it to to precisely what Owens had said in the match, and on Tuesday issued a statement confirming that it had been an error in the voice recognition software, and was a rare mistake in an otherwise trustworthy service.
Owens, though, the first openly-gay referee at the highest level in rugby, was able to have a good laugh about it on Twitter…
I must say I had a giggle when I saw this. I thought bloody hell this voice recognition is good. Shame it wasn’t about 25yrs ago it would habe helped me find out who I truly was sooner then. Mistakes happen so no worries at all on my behalf BBC it actually made me smile. https://t.co/WdawxHNGY5
— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) February 27, 2018
This is not the first high-profile mix-up involving the BBC and its voice recognition – one immediate example of a previous error is how the software tried to interpret Martin Keown saying the name of former Manchester United Winger Adnan Januzaj on Match of the Day several years ago…