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September 23, 2005

Google Talk’s potential – searchable conversations

By Charlene Li

I was thinking the other day that one of the things you can do with VoIP is to record it, using shareware like SoundStudio to record them to your hard drive (look at all of the podcasting interviews being done over Skype). Once it’s on the hard drive, you could then run speech recognition against the file and create an index that can be searched by, yup, you’ve got it, Google Desktop Search.

Kinda spooky, isn’t it. But think of the real-world applications, ranging from cheaper call center management (there’s some software today that does this, like Witness Systems and VoiceLog), to eliminating the need to keep detailed notes from conference calls. My personal dream application: archiving all of my voicemails and being able to search through them, just like my emails.

If you think about it, it’s not that different from a desktop search program indexing chat conversations. Phone recording law typically requires one party to be notified that a call is being recorded, with only a few states requiring that all parties on a call be notified.

To be clear, I don’t think this is Google’s intention behind launching Google Talk – after all, other search engines like Yahoo! and MSN have already enabled VoIP calling via instant messaging and in some ways, Google is just catching up. But given Google’s mission “to organize the world’s information”, you better hope their mantra “You can make money without doing evil” will keep their ambitions in check.


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» Charlene Li's Blog: Google Talk’s potential – searchable conversations from Technovia
Charlene Li at Forrester posts an interesting little snippit about the possibility that Google will allow you to archive and search voice conversations: My personal dream application: archiving all of my voicemails and being able to search through them... [Read More]

» Searching the Spoken Word from Look Beyond...
A recent eWeek.com article quotes a Yahoo spokesperson as saying that Yahoo is evaluating the potential of voice search. As Charlene Li, an analyst with Forrester, also comments on her blog, calls placed via VoIP can be recorded today using [Read More]

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Richard McKinnon

Given that we are hurtling into a new audio visual world with a web and desktops full of pods; vlogs; voicemails; videomails; telephone calls recorded, traded and archived; personal, business and professional videos and audio snippets; all existing simultanously and moving constantly from device to device; the ability to archive and retrieve would be one of the biggest steps forward I can imagine. And surely, where Google desktop search lives, can audio/video speech and image recognition, search and retrevial be far away?

Christina Pikas

A few points. 1) Cisco VOIP phones as implemented in my place of work, do send audio files of all voicemails to your Outlook inbox. Of course, we routinely delete these as they are huge files. They aren't indexed right now by the desktop search I have installed (Copernic) 2) WRT recording, I would assume the caller understands and consents to being recorded when they leave a voicemail. Right?


Well, we are getting there; now you can search inside podcasts: http://www.podscope.com/

Suresh Kumar

you know what Charlene?

when people say we can live with just a thin-client and just connect out into the 'cloud' and do SOA/network/Services gook... theyre missing the point.


My PC is my digital assistant.. its a digital representation of ME.

every key stroke, every windows event will eventually be recorded locally..

and churning through a VOIP stream... and doing real-time voice recognition is not technically impossible given todays processing power (ok -- given it 2 years).

But the power is there in the desktop to do these things....

Google realise the power of Software and Services... and what you say is an enivitability.. its more scaleable to do this at the nodes rather than centrally.

Look at Google Desktop2... you can see in it early ideas of how it records user behaviour and dynamically modifies RSS content feeds.


Google talk I reckon provides google with a great to tool to provide with "Click to Call" features. Going forward, advertisers will have the option on including "talk" button next to their ads or search results. Take a peek at my blog for more.

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