Intel hopes to clean up toxic speech in game chat with AI and machine learning

Can AI and machine learning defang toxic voice chat in games? Intel thinks so

Anyone who has ventured into online gaming knows text chat can approach nuclear-waste-levels of toxicity. But what happens when it all shifts to voice-based chat in the future? Intel says it can help. Or at least, it hopes it can.

The company said on Wednesday night it’s working with Spirit AI on ways to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to reduce the acidic speech gamers often fall back on during intense gaming sessions. Spirit AI already has a machine-based tool developers can use to help monitor forums and online chat. Intel wants to help extend the tools to the voice-based chat that’s increasingly used in gaming.

Neither company announced any firm plans on when it could be implemented. Based on the presentation PCWorld attended, it appears to be years away.

Intel said it can see the technology implemented in the cloud as well as on the client PC, phone, or console platforms down the road, once algorithms are trained up. It would ultimately be up to each game developer to use the technology.

img 20190320 095114 Gordon Mah Ung

Intel hopes to use AI and machine learning to help reduce the acidic speech in games.

Intel officials acknowledged the extreme difficulty of this lofty goal. In-game voice chat is part of an audio soup that includes effects, music, and multiple people speaking simultaneously. Add in poor sound quality, and it seems like an impossible mission.

That doesn’t even factor in larger concerns some are likely to have over how “conversations” are determined to contain hateful or abusive language, and whether such tools might feel Orwellian to some, or overstep the boundaries of free speech.

Intel officials did note that those decisions would be up to the developer. Many recognize that clamping down too hard could lead to backlash. However, because most games are played on private platforms, not open public forums, expectations of privacy or free speech would largely not apply.

While the technology might one day reach a capability where it can determine real-time that someone needs to be muted for abusing other players or making sales pitches, Intel said it would expect human interaction to be used first.

Rather than, say, a real-time bleeping of a player who bleeped too bleeping much, the chat conversation could be recorded and flagged for review by a person who would ultimately decide whether the ban hammer should fall.

Gaming platforms where the players are mostly children might be policed as well.

Either way, it’s an intriguing idea that could make gaming and chat less threatening—or less fun. 

img 20190320 094929 Gordon Mah Ung

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gordon Mah Ung

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

More online threats demand more protection.

Save up to $90! Great Deals on Norton 360 antivirus starting at just A$79.99 Get comprehensive protection with Norton 360 including Antivirus, secure VPN, a Password Manager, PC Cloud Backup, and more. All backed by 60-day Money Back Guarantee and 100% Virus Protection Promise.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ada Chan

Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook

I have had the pleasure of owning notebooks from Dynabook’s predecessor Toshiba for both work and leisure in the past. Toshiba’s attention to quality of build and design of the notebooks is second to none. The re-branding to Dynabook and the launch of the new range was completed in early 2019. I am pleased to confirm that not only did Dynabook further refine what Toshiba has left off; they have set a new benchmark for the ultra-light notebook category.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?