For more information on Cutter Consortium's Business Intelligence Practice, please contact Dennis Crowley at +1 781 641 5125 or e-mail


12 March 2002

One of the benefits that emerging audio mining technologies provide is faster and more efficient monitoring of potential threats in an increasingly security-conscious world, according to Cutter Consortium Senior Consultant Curt Hall.

States Hall, "Audio mining technology makes it possible to retrieve specific information from hours of recorded or live video footage, radio and television broadcasts, telephone conversations, call center dialogs, help desk recordings, and other formats.

"In effect, audio mining engines create a high-level structured summarization of the spoken language that can be searched and browsed using different criteria -- such as the names of people, places, organizations, and topics mentioned in the transcript as well as the identities and locations of the speakers in the recording."

Audio mining technology combines speech recognition, language processing, and intelligent indexing and search algorithms to transcribe the content of video or audio broadcasts into computerized text information. Promising application areas for audio mining technology, says Hall, include the following:

  1. Technical support centers and help desks. A technical support manager responsible for providing feedback to a product development team can search a database of recorded technical support calls to determine the issues end users are contending with.

  2. Call centers. A stockbroker or call center operator can gain access to specific recorded conversations to verify transaction information. Marketing executives can access customer requests and feedback from a company database to fine-tune marketing campaigns.

  3. Broadcast media. A news editor at a TV or radio station can search archives of recorded broadcasts to retrieve information relevant to breaking news almost immediately. The technology can also be used to index live broadcasts.

  4. Corporate communications and public relations departments. Communications and PR managers can index and search both live video feeds and archived broadcasts to track how their company or a competitor is being covered in the news.

  5. Conference managers. A conference management organization can use audio mining to create an index of key topics to help in preparing tapes of sessions. Such an index would allow material on CD-ROM to be directly accessible.

  6. Intelligence gathering, law enforcement, and security operations. Security personnel can obtain critical information from hours of recorded phone calls or radio transmissions much more rapidly than before. The technology also allows the indexing and searching of live broadcasts in order to monitor breaking events.

--Cutter Consortium

Audio Mining: The Next Big Thing?

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