SAIL LABS Technology AG (Sail Labs), a leader in the field of Speech Technology today announced its plans to launch the French version of its award-winning Media Mining System in the last week of October 2002. The French version of the Media Mining System will be able to take audio input from French broadcasts and create an indexed, summarized and searchable output in Real Time. The users will be able to search and retrieve information through a French user interface. The announcement follows the successful demonstration of the pre-release beta version to potential clients. The development of the French version was driven by market needs as experienced by Sail Labs’ partners like blue order and X-Art who are operating in French speaking regions. This development further emphasizes Sail Labs’ focus on the European market.
The initial plans for the development of the French Media Mining System were put into action about a year ago. The process was given added impetus with the inclusion of Sail Labs in the European Commission funded CIMWOS project. The consortium consisting of organizations from five different countries aims to create an automated indexing system integrating speech, text and video technologies supporting the French language. Canal+ from Belgium is one of the members of the consortium driving the development of the French system.
“Together with English, German and Spanish the new French version of the Media Mining System underlines our commitment to covering a wide range of languages and regions,” said Christoph Prinz, Vice President Development at Sail Labs Technology.
The development of the French version posed some initial challenges in the handling of the liaison phenomenon. This is a typical characteristic of the French language wherein pronunciations vary depending on the beginning of the succeeding word. The language also presented some difficulties with regards to the large number of words that sound identical when pronounced but are written very differently. Sail Labs was able to successfully overcome these issues in the creation of the French version of the Media Mining System.
The Media Mining System is currently available in English, German, Spanish and Arabic versions. It uses audio input in the above languages to create text output in industry standard XML format. The system identifies speakers within a featured presentation, enabling users to retrieve all audio clips belonging to a single speaker. In addition, the system classifies the output under various topics for easy retrieval. The system is available as an end-to-end solution as well as in integration with other solutions for multimedia content management. Some of the products that it has been integrated with are Oracle’s 9i interMedia, Virage VideoLogger® and Vodium’s MediaPod Player™.
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