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Search Engines Learn How to Watch and Listen to Video

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World Cup

Maybe you wish you had missed this one

Martin Rickett / PA

Missed the winning goal in that crucial football match at the 2010 FIFA World Cup? Just get on the net and you'll find hours of user-generated video content of every moment in every match.

But with 650,000--and counting--World Cup 2010 videos uploaded to YouTube alone, finding the right replay is a challenge. Existing video search tools struggle to deal with such a volume of content, but the search giants are on the case. Microsoft is sharpening the ability of its search engine, Bing, to find video content. Google, meanwhile, is set to launch an internet TV service later this year, using its video search technology to deliver the right footage.

The core strength of these engines has been in text search, but video search seems likely to move away from this approach. That's because sorting video content using metadata--the keyword tags manually attached to videos--is like searching via an interpreter. Tags encapsulate one person's judgement of a video's content, and a tag-only search system will produce a lot of irrelevant results, says Suranga Chandratillake, chief executive of online video and audio search engine Blinkx. "For video search to be really effective, you need better ways to understand what is going on in the actual footage."

From New Scientist
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