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IBM Technology Translates Arabic Media Broadcasts to English


Critical Mention, Inc. to Commercialize as Subscription Service for Business, Government and Media

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY - 14 Sep 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced its researchers have developed technology to translate Arabic media broadcasts into English in near real-time and has licensed the technology to Critical Mention, Inc., the leading Web-based real-time television news search and broadcast monitoring service.

Codenamed “TALES” (Translingual Automatic Language Exploitation System), the IBM technology processes the audio signal from Arabic television and radio stations and translates its spoken content into English text. Once this text is indexed by the CriticalTV platform, Critical Mention’s clients will be able to conduct real-time searches of Arabic media, and receive alerts instantly when a search term is detected.

Under the agreement, IBM Research will provide Critical Mention a multi-year license to its speech-to-text translation solution for Arabic and English sources, with the ability to expand to other languages in the future.

“The ever-shifting nature of the market compels business professionals to quickly and easily monitor a wide range of foreign events and world media,” said Arthur Ciccolo of IBM Research. “The unique TALES technology, combined with Critical Mention’s advanced real-time search and monitoring system, will benefit organizations from all industry segments.”

The TALES system combines three core technologies: search, speech-to-text conversion, and statistical machine translation. If a user selects a news source and a particular video clip, for example, the spoken words in this foreign language file are converted into written words. Then, TALES translates the written foreign-language text into the target language, English in this case. To provide the most accurate results, TALES uses statistical machine translation that employs automatically extracted word-to-word and phrase-to-phrase translations as used by the United Nations’ simultaneous translators. The statistical model for translation improves TALES effectiveness in capturing the meaning of the news it translates.

Critical Mention is adapting the speech-to-text conversion, and statistical machine translation components to integrate with its existing TV search & monitoring platform, CriticalTV, to provide subscribers with real-time monitoring of Arabic TV.

“This technology from IBM enables Critical Mention’s customers to benefit from the most comprehensive speech-to-text technology available on the market,” said Sean Morgan, founder and chief executive officer of Critical Mention. “We are very pleased to offer Arabic-to-English translation to our customers in the intelligence and energy markets, and will continue to expand our core offering to meet the needs of business and communications professionals all over the world.”

CriticalTV is a comprehensive Web-based television search and monitoring service that allows users to search, track and view critical information from television news. The platform provides real-time monitoring and email alerts for organizations that require up-to-the-minute news about their company, the market, customers and competitors. CriticalTV alerts users about a relevant clip seconds after a broadcast and allows users to share the clip instantly within a workgroup via secure video-email or a private video gallery. Users can also order a professional transcript or hard copy online.

Critical Mention’s current customer base, which includes many leading corporations, government agencies, public relations firms, and public interest groups, will benefit from the company’s expanded coverage of world markets.

About IBM
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About Critical Mention
Critical Mention Inc., providers of the most comprehensive Web-based television search and broadcast monitoring service, is changing the way corporate communications and business intelligence professionals search, track and view critical information from television news. The company’s CriticalTV platform provides real-time monitoring and email alerts for organizations that require up-to-the-minute news about their company, clients and competitors. Critical Mention provides clients the ability to search over 5 million clips and 25 terabytes of indexed television information, watch a clip within seconds of airing, and securely share clips with colleagues and clients. Critical Mention currently serves more than 475 clients, including Fortune 500 companies and market leaders in corporate communications, financial services, professional services, non-profit and government industries. Founded in 2002, Critical Mention ( is privately held, with headquarters in New York City.


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