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.