In the Age of Quarantine — social distancing, self-isolating, banned large crowds, and remote work — some of us are spending more time than ever in group video chats.
But for every new solution, there’s a new problem. Like etiquette and (video) table manners. Are we really supposed to mute our mics and potentially block our cameras every time we take a bite of something? The answer is “yes, obviously.” But for anyone who hasn’t figured that out, smash that mute button, chew softer, and take relief in CNET’s report that new Microsoft AI can automatically filter out and remove any snacking-related sounds from group video calls.
Finally, Good AI
The new AI algorithm is only on Microsoft’s Teams program, their video conferencing platform (akin to Zoom, Google Hangouts, et al).
“With the power of AI, Teams can remove that background noise and you can understand me very clearly,” Microsoft’s Robert Aichner said during a demo last week attended by CNET.
During the demonstration, Aichner rustled his hand around in a bag of chips. It’s the tell-tale warning sign that someone’s about to subject their audience to a view of the inside of their mouth as they grind deep-fried potato to a hellish pulp — the classic beginning to a horror story experienced almost daily by the friends and families of loud eaters. But then, a miracle: the software, which Microsoft calls “real-time noise suppression,” filtered it all out.
Microsoft says it developed the algorithm to make Teams a more distraction-free platform. But for the mouth-sound-averse, it could also become a safe haven from weird, snack-time closeups.
More on self-isolation: Bored Teens Are Posting on TikTok About Being Quarantined