Here’s how A.I. can mute the sounds of your noisy children during conference calls

Most of us are getting used to working from home. In my case, I feel more relaxed and comfortable working in the solitude of my room… until I get a knock at the door or when my neighbours are talking at the top of their lungs.

To make matters worst, sometimes these things happen when I’m in a conference call, and everyone can hear unwanted noises coming from me. The process of continuously muting our microphones when not talking can sometimes slip our minds, and that’s when people can listen to a whole orchestra of sounds.

Lucky for us, Microsoft and Google are harnessing the power of A.I. to solve our video conference noise-pollution problems.

Google is the first to pull the trigger. The company has already started rolling out this noise cancelling feature to G Suite users and have stated that it will release it to more users in the coming months.

Venture Beat was recently invited by Google to test it its denoiser feature, which will be available on Google Meet. Surprisingly the results are pretty impressive.

Check it out:

When the denoiser is turned on, you can hear some obvious drop in voice quality, but once the algorithm picks up the speaker’s voice, it starts to sound less muffled. But I think the impressive part is when it cancels out clapping and the sound of a mug being stirred with a spoon.

On the other hand, Microsoft has already demoed its noise suppression technology back in March 2020 using a bag of chips. I don’t know if you can hear it, but it does seem like Microsoft’s implementation doesn’t muffle your voice as much as Google’s:

Microsoft’s noise suppression feature will make its way to Teams – the company’s enterprise chatting tool – in the coming months.

Both implementations from Google and Microsoft are the same: It analyses audio clips and removes sounds that it deems are not talking and sends that to the other participants in the call.

This kind of technology is a welcome sight, as the new norm has us all at home and most, if not all, of our meetings, have to be conducted online.

But honestly, I’m just glad that I won’t have to hear the sound of screaming children or the sounds of phone chimes from dummies who don’t know how to mute their phones.

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Cover image sourced from Daily Mail.