Interview with Search Engine Researcher

A very interesting interview in the latest issue of ACM’s Ubiquity magazine with Ramesh Jain a professor at Georgia Tech, He is also the founder of PRAJA, Virage, and ImageWare.

Very interesting reading!

I’m very interested in media search and was happy to see Jain mention the topic.

>From the article, “So far searching has been limited to text but very soon it’s going to involve a lot more audio and video. Cameras now are absolutely everywhere — still cameras and phone cell cameras — so the problem’s become very interesting: how do you combine text, audio and video? In fact, if you look at Yahoo and Google and now MSN also, they are all trying to put together all of these techniques. They are trying to put together media search and image search.”

If you’re interested in trying out some cool media search tools that are available TODAY keep reading.

+ Campaign Search (from StreamSage)
Keyword search material from C-SPAN, NPR, candidate web sites, and other organizations.

+ Speechbot (from HP)
Keyword search 14,000 hours of radio programming.

Both of these databases use voice recognition technology. Nexidia is also developing voice recog based search technology

PBS offers several video search demos that allow you to keyword search various programs (PBS NewsHour, Washington Week in Review, etc.) and then watch the segment on your computer. I have a compilation of many of them here.

The technology PBS utilizes comes from Virage (one of the companies Jain founded). In this case, you’re seaching on the closed captioning. offers a fee-based service where you can search (or be alerted) in realtime to every word spoken on most of the major U.S. news networks and several local stations. ShadowTV also uses closed captioning.

The only issue I have with the interview (and it’s a very small one) is factual. Jain talks about Jeeves using humans to answer questions. This is what I called the “Old Jeeves” in an earlier post. For the past few years the principal technology Jeeves utilizes to deliver results and determine relevance is automated and is powered by Teoma.

Thanks to J.B. for the news tip.

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