SceneSkim Lets You Quickly Find a Scene, Dialogue From a Movie or TV Show

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Old 10-Nov-2015
SceneSkim Lets You Quickly Find a Scene, Dialogue From a Movie or TV Show

Navigating through a movie or TV show episode to find a particular dialogue or scene is a tedious task. The advent of technology, for some reason, is yet to address and fix this issue. While new streaming boxes such as the fourth-generation Apple TV lets you quickly find a particular episode of a show or use voice command to move a few minutes forward or backward, you still can't search for a specific dialogue phrase. But soon that may change.

Researchers from the University of California Berkeley have developed a desktop app called SceneSkim that takes in consideration the captions, scripts, and plot summaries while searching. "Increasingly, users can also index films through transcripts--however, dialogue often lacks visual context, character names, and high level event descriptions," the team wrote in its research paper.

"We introduce SceneSkim, a tool for searching and browsing movies using synchronised captions, scripts and plot summaries. Our interface integrates information from such sources to allow expressive search at several levels of granularity: Captions provide access to accurate dialogue, scripts describe shot-by-shot actions and settings, and plot summaries contain high-level event descriptions."

As seen in the embedded video below, the tool using its algorithms is able to pull in the synopsis, caption, and script and allows users to click on these individual entities to navigate to a specific point in that video. Furthermore, one can also search through keywords in the app.

It seems like a promising technology that companies such as Apple, Google, Hulu, Roku, HBO would want to implement in their products. But at the same time, it requires a lot of work - such as feeding scripts and movies into the database, manually provide summaries, and add metadata. The researchers noted that they are working on these aspects, but didn't reveal whether they have any plans to release a version of the app to the public.

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