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MIT Technology Review

35 Innovators Under 35

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  • Tim Sibley

    27

    A year after leaving Swarthmore College, where he helped fellow undergraduates engage in scientific communication by cofounding the Journal of Young Investigators, Tim Sibley has an insight about a related form of communication: conferences. “What scientists are truly interested in,” he explains, “cold be just 20 minutes of one lecture out of a hundred hours at a conference.” A simple way to find relevant morsels within audio or video conference recordings would be a boon. So the mathematics and physics major secured $2 million form the National Institute of Standards and Technology to start StreamSage in Washington, DC. Sibley uses computational-linguistics techniques to automatically create a searchable index of an audio or video recording and find material relevant to any given topic. Today NASA and Harvard Medical School use his programs to provide access to streaming-video archives. Other customers might include media companies, which seek better ways to manage digital video. Next, Sibley plans to enlist speech-processing technology to stitch together personalized audio newscasts from the Web’s welter of news. “More than just an audio Google,” Sibley says, this system will put items in context.