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AudioBurst Engine Searches the Web for Talk Radio

Co-founder and CEO Amir Hirsh told Radio more about the company's goals in a Q&A

�Pictured above: AudioBurst’s founders.�Pictured left to right: Jonathan Silberberg, VP of business; Ben Enosh, chairman; Gal Klein, �CTO; �and �Amir Hirsh, �CEO.

What was the inspiration/impetus for the creation of the AudioBurst Engine?

Amir Hirsh:�The notion that five years from now any word spoken on radio will be retrieved in a matter of a click of a button is mind blowing to us. Being avid radio listeners, the need to share what we�ve just listened to, and search for items that we�ve heard about was constant. It inspired us to think of the world of audio. As humans, we are genetically engineered to understand audio and to react to speech. It seemed to us that somehow audio in general and the radio specifically was not part of our day-to-day content consumption life. Somehow, even though we�re talking to our devices more and more, they are responding to us in screens and text. AudioBurst would like to bring the audio into the online and mobile world and add it as one of the means we receive information.

Explain the goal of the website and how it is different from other similar products on the market.

Hirsh:�www.audioburst.comis the first product we released that is empowered by our AudioBurst Engine. On our site, users can find our editors� choices of audio bursts from the radio. Short audio clips, on different topics starting from news, sports, phone interviews all the way to funny, historical and special moments from the radio. They can listen, share and even pull the bursts to be embedded on their sites and blogs.

The uniqueness of our offering is that it requires no attention and integration from the radio channels. AudioBurst is creating the bursts and promoting them all by itself, while the radio channels gain the brand recognition, SEO and users without needing to worry about anything other than creating compelling programs.

To the users, it means they get to enjoy an unparalleled variety of content and interests, not bound to any specific radio station. Furthermore, since the bursts are a direct output of our engine, users can search the content by any word said in it, enjoy further relevant listening suggestions and play them in a row online, or on their mobile.

Give me a brief rundown of the technology behind AudioBurst. Your corporate website mentions AI machine learning, parallel computing, real time segmentation and natural language understanding.

Hirsh:�Our company�s vision is to organize the world�s audio information in a way that will be useful and meaningful for all possible online and mobile purposes. In order to accomplish, that we�re investing a lot into developing our engine to be able to listen to the audio streams, record all audio, transcribe the audio in real time, segment the audio stream into short, focused, easy-to-consume bursts, and wrap them with all possible meta data that will allow our developers and third party users to find and consume those bursts in a variety of online content contexts � have it as a standalone viral burst to explode in the social networks, one item within a chain of bursts covering a specific topic to be listened to in a playlist, or an audio clip attached to a textual news page that provides another sensory stimuli when hearing the story.

Behind this dream is a very powerful and scalable propriety platform that we keep developing. The transcription engine needs to be able to handle huge volumes of audio in real time, and hence we�re using a special GPU-based algorithm. The next task on that list, breaking the stream into short segments � each covering a specific item, but the hardest one will be putting into use our patent pending, machine learning-based real time AI that understands the text and its context in order to break it down into categorized segments.

Each burst created passed through NLP analysis engine, enriching the burst metadata with keywords, entities and high-level concepts from it. We�re working hard on adding speaker identification, mood analysis and other important facts that will be attached to each burst.

Does your company (or does it plan to) coordinate with broadcasters on the audio content?

Hirsh:�We don�t believe it is our place to advise broadcasters on the creation of audio content. They are the professionals; they know what they�re doing, and they�re doing it way better than any person outside of the show may suggest.

We do plan on sharing statistics and insights on the audio bursts consumption on our site, embedded in other blogs, views and popularity in the search engines. We believe those insights may be helpful for the broadcasters to review and perhaps analyze their content creations choices moving forward.

But the final say is always theirs and they will continue to enjoy AudioBurst�s service and support regardless of whether they are getting the statistics or paying them any attention. We know how hectic the life of a radio broadcaster is and made sure our service is promoting them and their content even with no attention required.

Anything else that readers would be interested to know?

Hirsh:�The biggest message is that we have a long way ahead of us. The mission to save radio broadcasted content in a searchable, shareable and reusable manner is a long path that we�re devoted to accomplish.

On this path that is aiming at service radio broadcasters, audio listeners, online publishers, search engines and more, there is a lot to learn and understand on the real needs and the correct way to answer them.

AudioBurst would appreciate any feedback, suggestions and critical thinking that could be suggested to our work as we progress. We will be updating the engine and the apps built on top of it in cycles of around two months each and hence any messages sent our ways along the way would be greatly appreciated. They can just shoot me an email to[email protected].�