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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dear Google,

I know you already have the technology to do Real-time audio analysis of nation wide distributed networks of computers for the purpose of serving targeted ads. There's lots of people who think this is cool, but scary. It might be a hard sell. Take a different direction and put this technology to use with a new service we would welcome: transcription.

Using your enormous computational bandwidth, leverage your audio analysis algorithms to perform Speech Recognition on user-submitted audio speech samples.

I've been using a digital voice recorder for the past five years, and I literally have weeks of audio recordings that I cannot grep for content. To find something in the files, I actually have to listen to them in real time (or quasi-real, at least). This really really sucks.

With your new transcription service, everybody wins. You get topologically complete recognition algorithm training data submitted directly to you as millions of user audio file submissions. From this you can create an voice recognition interface optimally trained on a spectrum of accents and languages that can accurately transcribe widely varying speech into text. This would allow you to make google's connection to us a true voice interface. Besides making a nerd's Star Trek computer interface wet dream a reality, this has a huge financial potential for the web aware phone market. This service would leave MSN and Yahoo in the dust. Imagine me standing near my computer or phone, simply asking "Google, how do I get from here to the YES concert?", which would trigger a lookup on google maps, and you could serve me up some ads from the bus, taxi, and limosine services in town.

I would get a service that not only allows me to convert all my digital audio files to searchable text, but I'd also get a fscking Star Trekish computer interface!!! What's not to like?

This service could be tied into your text translation tools, live, to provide me the ability to converse with people in a dozen or so other languages, albeit in somewhat a clunky manner. This could be the alpha-test of the universal translator!

Google, please put your distributed sentience towards solving this problem. Make the world a more amazing place.

Kind Regards,

Burton MacKenZie

Installing Renoir

Burton MacKenZie's Winnipeg Louvre Public Installation Gallery has introduced fine 19th Century Impressionism to the masses.

Normally my installation pieces (like 'Math Will Set You Free') are designed as ubiquitously invisible urban street art, a hello message for the observant, delivered across the medium of the bizarre. Like an upside down Italian Bistro, their Somebody Else's Problem Invisibility Field keeps them hidden from consciousness.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's 1881 painting of St. Mark’s Square, by contrast, leaps out at you. "Hey, there's a framed painting over there on that wood". It doesn't blend - the metaphors are too divergent (and I'm sure the contrast ratio helps).

The juxtaposition of the old and respected work against the hasty and coarse-grained guerilla installation art uses overlapping positive space to highlight that art is for everybody, regardless of where you find it. Wow, I just had a deja-vu.

Burton MacKenZie

Monday, August 06, 2007

Bush has destroyed us all!

Here's some recent Installation Art. It's called "Bush has destroyed us all!".

Burton MacKenZie

Update: This work has been smashed to pieces. It was installed smack in the middle a spot frequented by young drunks every Friday and Saturday night. I knew it wouldn't last long. I think I'll encase the remaining pieces in Lucite (I'm all out of Frozen Carbonite) and sell it on ebay.


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