Comcast Must Face Lawsuit over Voice Recognition Tech





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Software development company Promptu Systems has revived a 2016 patent infringement lawsuit against Comcast.

Last week, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said a Pennsylvania district court incorrectly interpreted terms of the patents in the original case’s decision. Promptu now has another opportunity to make its infringement argument.

Promptu filed a complaint against Comcast in 2016 accusing the cable company of infringing on two of its patents — 7,047,196 and 7,260,538 — that cover speech recognition and voice-command remote control methods, respectively.

Promptu said Comcast copied and used its technology in remotes and set-top boxes after multiple meetings about a possible collaboration, according to Reuters.

The original decision said Comcast hadn’t infringed on Promptu’s patents.

Speech recognition and voice command technology has become a standard feature in many devices and software. The combination lets users do everything from find a restaurant, make phone calls, and turn on the lights in their homes. They’re found in phones, smart speakers, and TV remote controls.

Over the last year, amid the explosion of interest in artificial intelligence, more companies are taking another look at their voice assistants.

At CES 2024, free TV company, Telly, debuted its AI voice assistant “Hey Telly.” The technology is powered by ChatGPT and designed to enhance the user’s TV experience. Eventually “Hey Telly” will be able to “know and recognize” household members.

In September, Open AI, the company behind ChatGPT, gave its AI chatbot a boost. The advancements allow the AI to “see” images, listen to the user during a conversation, and respond in a more natural, human way.

In the same month, Amazon rolled out a smarter, more human Alexa. The revamped voice assistant is designed to inspire more conversational interactions.

Comcast and Promptu weren’t immediately available for comment.

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