The latest feature of Skype, coming to the desktop version, is AI-enabled noise cancellation. In its blog post, Skype announced that the feature originally developed for Microsoft Teams is rolling out now and users should get it in a couple of days.
This function suppresses background noise and filters it without affecting the user’s voice. Skype also said its noise suppression algorithm is different from others in that its “neural networks can learn the difference between speech and the most complex and inconsistent noises.”
“This technology is based on machine learning (ML) to know the difference between clean speech and noise, and is often called artificial intelligence (AI). A representative data set is used to train the ML model to work in most situations in our Skype users’ experience. There must be sufficient diversity in the dataset in terms of clean speech, types of noise, and the environments from which our users join online calls, ”explained Skype in its blog post.
In the blog post, Skype revealed that its data set consisted of approximately 760 hours of clean voice data and 180 hours of noise data.
Long hours of clean voice data consisted of 10+ languages to ensure no distortion when the feature is on. A balance between male and female speech was maintained as the performance unfolded. Additionally, the 180 hours of noise data contained 150 types of noise ranging from keyboard to howling dogs.
How to activate noise cancellation in the Skype app
# In the desktop application, go to your profile and click “Settings”.
# In the configuration option, click on “Audio and Video”.
# Scroll down to the right and the “Noise Canceling” function will be visible.
# When you activate noise cancellation, you can choose between “Automatic”, “Low” or “High”.
The option is currently available only on the desktop app and not on Android and iOS devices. Also, Microsoft is developing a background blur for the web version. Also, a feature that will allow the host to block a meeting and search for contacts by phone numbers.