I recently discovered that videos uploaded to YouTube are automatically transcribed (if they’re in English). As you might guess, the transcriptions are not perfect, so there will be a discrepancy between what the speaker actually said and what is transcribed. This is essentially all you need to run an iterated learning experiment (e.g. Kirby, Cornish & Smith, 2008). Iterated learning is a process of repeatedly transmitting a signal through a bottleneck. For instance, language is transmitted from adults to children, who learn its rules. These children then go on to transmit this language to their own children.[…]
Here’s how iterated learning with YouTube works:
Record yourself saying something.
Upload the video to YouTube
Let it be automatically transcribed (usually takes about 10 minutes for a short video)
Record yourself saying the text from the automatic transcription
This reminds me of sites like MultiBabel or Bad Translator that feed a text through multiple machine translators to see how much gibberish ends up resulting. Some interesting modifications of the YouTube captions experiment would be to use speakers with different accents or various text-to-speech programs. Or combine translation and transcription, maybe.
Edit: I should perhaps clarify that the video and image are also by Replicated Typo.