Information retrieval in broadcasting – What’s lacking?

What you see is as good as what you hear in broadcasting. Well, almost.

Digitization has given broadcasting a home run. Almost everything you see, is bound to be archived somewhere. And a portion of that is aired as news, fiction or made into a video documentary.

Broadcasting companies such as PBS and BBC have made radio programs available and various types of public records have also been archived. Furthermore, research indicates that such records are extremely valuable.

Despite the potential importance of such speech archives, they are relatively under-utilized due to the lack of useful tools for accessing and browsing such speech archives.

One natural starting point for identifying techniques for speech access is in the information retrieval literature. Current information retrieval techniques do not support other types of information seeking behavior that require users to find local information i.e. extracting facts from within a document. Consistent with this focus on search, user interfaces to information retrieval systems present a relevant ranked set of documents in response to a user query.

They assume that for more detailed information, users can easily visually scan and browse through textual documents when they are looking for information contained within a document.

Given the sequential nature of speech, it is difficult for one to quickly scan through long speech stories to obtain an overview of the speech.

It is therefore, both inefficient and inappropriate to listen to multiple lengthy stories in their entirety, when relevant information may be located in one part of an extremely lengthy story.

This indicates that in addition to search, interfaces for accessing speech need to support local navigation specifically: story navigation and information extraction.

The solution to this is simply to transcribe.

All things considered, transcription helps the user interface support a new principle that lets them decide exactly what they want to see or hear. By depicting speech in the form of text, we allow visual scanning that lets the user decide and filter what part of the discourse he wants to focus on, and skip to that part saving lot of time and patience.

Improving the user experience on the whole is what every business ultimately sets out to do. For a satisfied consumer is a returning consumer.

Understanding what the buyer wants, is as good as selling a product. Broadcast technology today needs to focus on such important tools that are oft overlooked, to create a wholesome experience for the buyer and to keep them coming back for more.