The cloud-powered XFINITY® X1 voice remote of Comcast® started off as a platform that supports the English language, but the cable giant added Spanish too to the mix in order to equip it for movies’ and television shows’ searches or facilitate basic channel changes. However, instead of placing voice queries in Spanish and English in their own separate and different silos, Comcast® went a step ahead by making the X1 voice system bilingual, and able to comprehend both languages simultaneously.
The Philadelphia-based telecommunications company recognized early on that such kind of an endeavor would not scale only by using manual processes – as per the last check, the carrier has activated around 23 million XFINITY® X1 voice remotes and handled about 3.5 billion X1 voice commands through this year’s first half. Besides, the company estimates that it processes over 6 million Spanish voice commands every month.
The cable giant cum fastest internet provider quickly discovered that keeping the voice remote queries in Spanish and English buckets would not do, since its XFINITY® TV platform would have to decipher words or commands from both languages simultaneously and similarly understand the context of voice queries from users.
“As we started to test our algorithm with Spanish-speaking customers, we started to learn that they typically speak English and Spanish in an interchangeable way,” said Jeanine Heck, the VP of AI Product at Comcast®.
To deal with that challenge, the Philly-based cable provider created an AI system and coupled it with machine learning techniques in order to establish bilingual capability’s foundation. The company continues to develop the technology with upgrades and by analyzing the data in ways that aspire to enhance the accuracy of results, which the voice remote platform generates.
While Spanish and English worlds might sound exact, they will often have distinct meanings. Considering that, the voice remote platform required advanced capabilities to find out which of those user words were meant for Spanish or English definitions.
In order to facilitate that, the company passes voice queries via both a Spanish and English learning algorithm and makes use of machine learning to get the respective outputs together in a way that they can be reconciled into a bilingual command and produce a precise result.
This approach by Comcast® “differentiates our experience from a lot of other multilingual devices or platforms,” Heck said, while adding that other systems usually necessitate the user to make a changeover to a distinct language instead of combining the languages on a common search as well as navigation system.