Questioning How To Search New Sound files

August 25, 2014

Sound is an underrated science, but it is quite an amazing topic to study. MIT News reports an amazing experiment: “Extracting Audio From Visual Information.” The article explains that Adobe, Microsoft, and MIT researchers developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. The team has been able to get audible files of the leaves of a potted plant, the surface of a glass of water, aluminum foil, and vibrations from a potato-chip bag.

The sound files can be used by law enforcement organizations, but MIT graduate student Abe Davis says it creates a “new kind of imaging.”

“ ‘We’re recovering sounds from objects,’ [Davis] says. ‘That gives us a lot of information about the sound that’s going on around the object, but it also gives us a lot of information about the object itself, because different objects are going to respond to sound in different ways.’”

The team speculates that the technology community will embrace the research and amazing applications will be developed from it. The new sound technology will also create a new slew of content. How will we search the new content? A specific and exact ontology will be needed to distinguish sound files. Will a search application smart enough to read the sound data be developed to identify the user’s information need? Oh wait, enterprise search systems index “all information” so it already exists.

Whitney Grace, August 25, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext


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