15 November 2007

Lecture Search Engine

Given the centrality of search to the way we use the Internet, it's surprising that we're still stuck with a few file-types - essentially text, with a few tags for images and video thrown in if you're lucky. I've written before about picture searching, and now here's lecture searching:

The Lecture Browser is a web interface to video recordings of lectures and seminars that have been indexed using automatic speech recognition technology. You can search for topics, much like a regular web search engine. If any results look relevant, you can play the video starting at the relevant point and see the synchronized transcript.

Even better, the lectures this is indexing are from MIT's OpenCourseWare:

More than 200 MIT lectures are currently available on the site (web.sls.csail.mit.edu/lectures/). So far, most of the users are international students who access the lectures through MIT's OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative, which makes curriculum materials for most MIT courses available to anyone with Internet access. Although the lecture-browsing system is still in the early development stages, a recent announcement in OCW's newsletter has drawn increased traffic to the site.

Barzilay and Glass expect the system will be most useful for OCW users and for MIT students who want to review lecture material. MIT World, a web site that provides video of significant MIT events such as lectures by speakers from MIT and around the world, is also participating in the project.

(Via Open Access News.)

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