1-800-GOOG-411 is starting to pay off. Google created the free, automated, directory assistance service (that, in my experience, works incredibly well) in order to obtain massive amounts of data to create/perfect its speech recognition algorithms. Now it’s applying those algorithms to video search.

On Monday, Google unveiled a speech-to-text widget for political videos. Type in a word and it will search through all the videos uploaded to YouTube’s Politicians channels, displaying relevant videos with highlights where the search term is uttered.

Google says it only takes a few hours after upload for a video to be transcribed, and while only official videos on the Politician’s channels are indexed, and though the system’s not 100% accurate, it’s a great start. It’s only a matter of time before the technology becomes integrated into all of YouTube and speech is added as a weighted element to the site’s search.

Being able to find every instance of a word in a specific show, series, or genre would make for interesting research projects and a lot more sweet supercuts. Like Ben says, it certainly won’t hurt Google’s ability to place more targeted advertising either.

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