Comcast is the largest cable provider in the US, reaching more than 30 million customers. Recently, Comcast reinvented the way its customers can access content and other services. With the X1 voice remote, customers can interact with the X1 entertainment system and other Comcast services such as billing or Xfinity Home services via spoken language.
Jan Neumann, Ferhan Ture, and Shahin Sefati explain how AI enables Comcast to understand what you are looking for when you talk to the X1 voice remote and how Comcast scaled the voice interface to answer millions of voice queries every single night. Jan, Ferhan, and Shahin share how Comcast uses natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning to identify the intent behind a customer’s query across multiple domains and answer even general questions, such as “How old is Tom Hanks?” Along the way, they cover the lessons learned going from a research project to production and scaling the system to answer millions of queries per day.
Jan Neumann manages the research group at Comcast Labs DC, where he and his team focus on using machine learning and large-scale computing for content discovery, multimedia information extraction, and big data analysis with the goal to innovate the TV and home consumer experience. Previously, he worked for Siemens Corporate Research on various computer vision related projects. He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Ferhan Ture is a member of the Comcast Labs DC research group, where he focuses on combining deep learning and natural language processing to build data-driven solutions for various Comcast products involving language, including the algorithms behind the voice-enabled remote controller for the X1 entertainment system. He is a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide.
Shahin Sefati is a senior researcher in the Applied AI research group at Comcast in Washington, DC, where he leads the personalization research for search, browse, recommendation, and content discovery. Shahin’s research interests include machine learning and big data analytics.
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