Video games: Microsoft wants to filter voice exchanges in real time to end the…

by Jerry

On Xbox and PC, Microsoft intends to hunt down "harmful" gamers and provide a user-friendly gaming environment. The company is testing new filters for text and voice messages.

Anyone who has ever played an online game knows that between players, de duence and respect are not always the rule. Some people give the impression that they are only there to attack others verbatim, even verbally. A problem that Microsoftis well aware of. In fact, a few months ago, the company even gave a list of acceptable insults to gamers. This seems to be an ineffective solution, as Redmond's firm has recently begun testing new content filters for its Xbox Live messaging system.

Microsoft to introduce new filtering options in video games

Microsoft plans to introduce four levels of filters: friendly, medium, mature and unfiltered. The first would protect children, while in contrast, the unfiltered mode allows rudeness. To read a censored message on a child account, you will need to log in with an adult account, in order to report it eventually. Of course, all of this would be easily managed through parental controls and would apply to the entire Xbox ecosystem.

Well, so far, nothing very revolutionary compared to the current message filtering systems. But for now, all these techniques do not take into account an essential element: the context. According to Dave McCarthy, head of Xbox operations at Microsoft, real lynching operations take place in multiplayer sessions. They would target people of colour or the LGBT community. For Dave McCarthy, "If we really want to realize our potential as an industry and make this wonderful media known to everyone, there's no room for that." Another concrete example of the notion of context: saying "I'm going to do a carnage and slaughter everyone" on Call of Duty does not have the same scope as to say in Animal Crossing New Leaf. It is on this notion of context that Microsoft wants to focus its efforts. At his disposal, of course, is artificial intelligence.

"Finding ways to understand context and nuance is an endless battle,"McCarthy said. However, our colleague from The Verge was able to test Microsoft's new system and he acknowledges that it works quite well. None of his offensive messages fell through the cracks, despite the use of the usual ploys, such as accents or symbols.

Voicemails: Microsoft takes the problem to heart

But if there is one sector in which everything remains to be done, it is that of filtering voice exchanges. In this respect, Microsoft has an ambitious project: to develop a system that looks a bit like what we hear on television, with "beeps", but in real time. Among the avenues studied to achieve this, the most serious would be the transposition of the oral message into written text.

As you can imagine, this practice would raise many questions. Technically, it requires a high-level transcription system,and poses the challenge of latency induced by real-time message analysis. A problem point in the context of a game, since the speech is used to inform his teammates quickly. Ethically, it assumes that the company listens to and transcribes all users' exchanges, and then restricts their freedom of speech in some cases. Legally, however, this would not be considered an infringement of freedom of expression. Indeed, earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court indicated that the principle of freedom of expression does not apply to private platforms such as Xbox Live.

Finally, Microsoft also emphasizes its desire for transparency. McCarthy explains,"If we want to hold our users accountable for their actions on Xbox Live and our other services, we need to be transparent about our value system, our practices and why we do what we do." Thus, the firm plans to notify the sanctioned accounts directly and explain the reasons for the conviction.

Source: The Verge

You may also like

Dedicated brain and soul to all those who have video games in their blood, is the Italian reference point for the entertainment of the present and the future. Get ready to be amazed every day with articles, news, videos, live shows and brillant production.
Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?