Quick take – Google launches audio indexing

Google announced the launch of its new audio indexing technology – terribly called Gaudi – through a dedicated website. Available only in English and vaunt to crash Safari on my Mac, the site nevertheless shows some early promise.

It is however still woefully inaccurate, the challenge of having to create algorithms that can ‘understand’ the accents of those who appear in the limited selection of videos Gaudi currently indexes.  

 

Obama on sex education
Obama on sex education

Given the sheer volume of (English) content on Google Video and YouTube, the evolution of this tool will surely make it easier to navigate Google’s video sites and discover content hidden in videos. I can also see great potential in a custom video search engine helping viewers quickly go to sections in a video without having to watch it from beginning to end. 

Of course, the downside of going directly to keywords in a video is that you lose context. I read somewhere that the average attention span per video of those who visit YouTube is less than 3 minutes. Google’s technology will probably reduce this even more. 

We will end up watching more videos, but will we understand the issues any better?