Friday, October 23, 2009

SSCS 2009

The Third Workshop on Searching Spontaneous Conversational Speech (SSCS 2009) took place on 23 October 2009 in Beijing China in conjunction with ACM MultiMedia 2009. We had a great set of demos and talks. As an organizer this gives you a warm pleased feeling -- all that work is worth it. Domains covered included broadcast, meetings, interviews, telephone conversations, podcasts and voice tagging for photos. The approaches presented involved using a variety of techniques including subword units, exploiting dialogue structure, fusing retrieval models, modeling topics and integrating visual features. Such events serve to highlight the importance of the spoken word in many multimedia access and retrieval applications. And also to remind us how far we are from exploiting it fully.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Well, behind every joke there's some truth

The winner of the ACM MultiMedia Grand Challenge at ACM MultiMedia 2009 was "Joke-O-Mat: Browsing Sitcoms Punchline by Punchline." This application uses speaker diarization and laughter detection to annotate sitcoms and present them to the viewer in an interface that allows presents jokes ranked by laugh reaction, grouped by character and associated with context. Joke-O-Mat underlines the importance of the speech track for multimedia access.

What to do when multimedia doesn't contain a laugh track? In VideoCLEF 2009 we ran a narrative peak detection task. The goal was to detect points in videos where viewers perceive heightened dramatic tension. Today, CLEF working notes, tomorrow our own Peak-O-Mat?