Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Continuing to digitize and index the world

The New York Times reports that
Google and Yahoo are introducing services that will let users search through television programs based on words spoken on the air. The services will look for keywords in the closed captioning information that is encoded in many programs, mainly as an aid to deaf viewers.

Google's service, scheduled to be introduced today, does not actually permit people to watch the video on their computers. Instead, it presents them with short excerpts of program transcripts with text matching their search queries and a single image from the program. Google records TV programs for use in the service.

Google's vice president for product management, Jonathan Rosenberg, said offering still images was somewhat limited but was a first step toward a broader service.
Not everything you could want, but a start.

What's significant is that we are continuing to digitize and index the world. What about indexing all the sensors and all the live cameras that are out there these days. The problem with indexing images is that we aren't yet good enough at image recognition to know what to index. But we'll get there — slowly.

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