New service eavesdrops on Internet calls
yahoo-continuesNEW YORK - A startup has come up with a new way to make money from phone calls connected via the Internet: having software listen to the calls, then displaying ads on the callers' computer screens based on what's being talked about.
For instance, a caller talking about going for dinner might see ads to local restaurants and restaurant review sites, while someone pondering whether to buy a new computer might see ads for computer stores. Relevant unsponsored links also appear.
That is, if the system works. It's notoriously difficult for computers to recognize speech. A test of Puddingmedia's beta software was a mixed success: Relevant ads appeared when this reporter talked about restaurants and computers, but the software was oddly insistent that he should seek a career as a social worker, showing multiple ads and links pointing to that field.
"Sometimes crazy things pop up. It actually enriches the conversation, which is very cool," said Ariel Maislos, chief executive of Puddingmedia.