Patent published on May 23, 2024

Rovi Guides' Patent Solves Ambiguous Questions About What You're Watching

In today's fast-paced world, we often find ourselves immersed in movies and TV shows, eagerly devouring the latest episodes or catching up on our favorite classics. However, it's not uncommon for questions to arise while watching, leaving us in a state of confusion. For instance, have you ever wondered who the actor in a particular movie is or what other films they have appeared in? Sometimes, these queries can be rather ambiguous, making it difficult for digital assistants to provide accurate and helpful answers.

Enter Rovi Guides, a leading company in the field of interactive television guides and entertainment metadata. They have recently been granted a patent (US20240168995A1) titled "System and Methods for Resolving Query Related to Content," which aims to solve the problem of ambiguous questions while watching a movie or TV show.

The core issue that arises from ambiguous queries is the inability of digital assistants to determine the exact intent behind the question. For example, if someone asks, "Who is the actor in Harry Potter?" it's not immediately clear which actor they are referring to. Is it the actor who played Harry Potter himself, or someone else from the cast?

The patent tackles this challenge by introducing a novel approach. When a user poses an ambiguous question about the content they are watching, the device with the Rovi Guides Assistant can take a snapshot or picture of the scene and display it on a different device. This visual representation helps facilitate a better understanding of the context and specific objects within the content.

If the question pertains to different objects in the picture, and it's not evident which one the user is referring to, the Rovi Guides Assistant will generate a follow-up disambiguating query. This additional question aims to clarify the user's intention, ensuring accurate and tailored responses. For example, if the initial query is about the actor in Harry Potter, the assistant can follow up with a query like, "Are you referring to the actor who played Harry Potter or someone else?"

By introducing this innovative system, Rovi Guides aims to enhance user experiences and provide seamless interactions with digital assistants. The patent's focus on resolving ambiguous queries eliminates the need for prolonged and often frustrating dialogues that consume unnecessary resources, both in terms of memory and processing power.

The impact of this patent extends beyond just resolving questions while watching movies or TV shows. Imagine a world where digital assistants can effortlessly disambiguate queries across various domains and industries. For instance, in the medical field, a patient might ask, "What are the symptoms of the flu?" With the disambiguating capabilities introduced by Rovi Guides, the device can verify if the patient is inquiring about adult flu symptoms or those specific to children, leading to more accurate and relevant responses.

It's important to note that while this patent represents an exciting development, there is no guarantee that it will materialize in the market. Patents often serve as a testament to a company's innovative spirit and commitment to solving real-world problems. However, their implementation is subject to various factors, including market demand and technological feasibility.

In conclusion, Rovi Guides' newly patented system for resolving ambiguous queries related to content presents an innovative solution to a significant problem encountered by digital assistants. By generating disambiguating queries based on visual snapshots, the Rovi Guides Assistant offers more precise and tailored responses. This technology has the potential to reshape our interactions with digital assistants across various domains, facilitating a world where the answers to our questions are more accurate and relevant than ever before.

P.S.: It is important to note that this article highlights a recently published patent and its potential applications. The presence of a patent does not guarantee its availability in the market. Implementation and commercialization of patented inventions are subject to various factors.

Explore more