TREC 2020: The Podcast Track

I came back to TREC — first time since 1999 (CLEF started then, and that took over most of my attention). This year, I was one of the organisers of the Podcast Challenge which involved retrieval and summarisation of data from the 100 000 Podcast Data set we released for this purpose. We expect great things to happen with this data set: in some way, the current state of speech and podcast analysis field is quite similar to what text and social media analysis was in the mid nineties! The scale of the data set is daunting, the features we want to work with are not quite settled (we expect to see great results from peering into the audio, something noone did this year), the use case we aim for is not entirely determined, and the medium of podcasts is in its infancy and is likely to develop and change rapidly in th coming years! It’ll be right exciting to be here to see what comes next!