Microsoft Teams uses AI to prevent awkward video call dropouts | Engadget


Microsoft may soon be mitigating some of the worst annoyances in video chats. The edge Remarks Microsoft is unroll AI-based voice quality upgrades designed to help everyone on the call hear each other clearly. New machine learning models can not only cancel echoes, but even reduce the likelihood of awkward interruptions by eliminating echo-induced crossovers. This won’t stop rude people from hijacking the conversation, but it might help you bring up an important point without completely interrupting someone else’s train of thought.

The machine learning technology counteracts echoes by using a combination of around 100,000 simulated rooms and training from 30,000 language hours. Microsoft also paid regular Teams users to record their voices to recognize thousands of different devices. And most importantly, the processing takes place on your device. Of course, this helps Microsoft keep costs down, but it also ensures that echo reduction is fast and available to a wider range of users.

The feature is now live after months of testing. It comes along with a few other upgrades, including AI improvements for bandwidth-limited video calls and optimizations for how text is displayed. This alone probably won’t make you choose Teams over competitors like Zoom or Google Meet, but it could make the difference if virtual meetings are commonplace in your workplace.

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