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Within computer science, "Multimedia" is a field of research that investigates how computers can support people in communication, information finding, and knowledge/opinion building. Multimedia content is defined broadly. It includes not only video, but also images accompanied by text and other information (for example, a geo-location). It can be professionally produced, or generated by users for online sharing. Computer scientists historically have a “love-hate” relationship with multimedia. They “love” it because of the richness of the data sources and the wealth of available data, which leads to interesting problems to tackle with machine learning. They “hate” it because multimedia is a diffuse and moving target: the interpretation of multimedia differs from person to person, and changes over time in the course of its use as a communication medium. This talk gives a view onto ongoing research in the area of multimedia information retrieval algorithms, which help people find multimedia. We look at a series of topics that reveal how pattern recognition, text processing, and crowdsourcing tools are used in multimedia research, and discuss both their limitations and their potential.