Australian research gives Compaq a voice

An audio search engine has been developed at Compaq's Gold Coast research facility.

Developed on the Gold Coast in collaboration with its US Cambridge research laboratory, Compaq's SpeechBot provides Internet users with an audio index of 20 popular US radio shows, that have more than 3000 hours of continually updated material.

Topics covered in the index include advice, arts, entertainment, current events, gardening, health, paranormal, science and technology and sport.

The site is designed to demonstrate spoken audio indexing capabilities of the Web, traditionally associated only with text-based media.

Compaq says Internet users have previously had to listen to "hours" of unwanted spoken audio material, without transcripts, before finding relevant content. SpeechBot is designed to reduce spoken audio search-time by using Alta Vista-type Web searching technology.

The site operates on Windows NT, using Linux for speech recognition and AlphaServer DS20 systems for multimedia search and high performance Web serving.

The site is at http://www.compaq.com/speechbot.

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Byron Kaye

PC World
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