Sunday, October 15, 2006

Late Night Thoughts About an Index Really Worth More Than a Thousand Words

What if a photograph could be, in of itself, a search query?

A photo could be uploaded and links with descriptions fed back based on what the algorithm detected the photo to be. The perfect match might tell you who an unknown person is, or when the photo was taken. Perhaps it could detect and reference location based on skyline patterns or landmark geometry. Perhaps similar photos could be be fed back, giving say, more photos of the same person or place.

What if our Voice communications, like IP telephone conversations, were recorded and indexed and could be searched like emails are with Gmail? Not in a "big brother" sense, but say for mutually accepted and practical reasons. I think of business conversations, teleconferences, and presenations.

It seems so rudimentary, so simple, but its very powerful and some might say frightening: When everything is completely digital, it can all be, at least theoretically, indexed and searchable. It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility that algorithims could be developed to do it. That kind of index would really be worth more than a thousand words.

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