January 25, 2005
Okay, they have figured out how to scrape a video (and presumably audio) feed for human language and put it all in the search relevancy results we've all come to expect. They've only been running their indexer against television feeds since December, but think about it: if it weren't for the stingy copyright, we already have the technology to google any TV show, really any media -- music, movies, audiobooks -- ever. That's pretty fucking amazing. It's not surprising, because all of the pieces to do this have been floating around for a while, and it takes a Google to pull it off, but as I was just sitting here thinking of how we could have truly on-demand entertainment ("oh, what was that one episode of West Wing, with the diary? Let's google it and watch it...," or, "I want to see a movie right now about Vietnam," or "How does that song, Genius of Love, go, again?"), it seemed to warrant mention.
UPDATE (minutes later): Alright, on further examination, it appears they are getting the text from speech via the closed captioning stream, so they've offloaded that heavy-lifting to existing infrastructure. It's still impressive, even if it isn't as sophisticated as it initially seemed :-( Reading the "About" page: who knew?