Microsoft Brings AI Noise Cancellation To Skype

Skype

Microsoft has introduced AI-enabled Noise Cancellation functionality to Skype. You will be able to locate the Noise Cancellation feature under the Settings option. There will be three options like Auto, Low and High. Microsoft is constantly updating Skype with new features to enable you to establish connectivity with other users easily.

The voice conferencing and the messaging platform have played a pivotal role not only for enterprise companies but also among individuals during the COVID-19 lockdown. With the help of Skype, users were able to connect with each other seamlessly irrespective of the location. The addition of noise cancellation to the Skype desktop version will enable users to communicate without any disturbances from the ambient noise.

Commenting on the development, Microsoft disclosed that this technology relies on machine learning to learn the difference between clean speech and noise called Artificial Intelligence. A representative dataset is used to train the ML model to provide an enhanced Skype user experience.

There should be diversity in the dataset in terms of clean speech, noise types, and environments. To develop noise cancellation, the product team used 760 hours of clean speech data and 180 hours of noise data in their datasets for training. The engineers used over 150 noise types to cover a wide range of scenarios such as keyboard typing, running water, and snoring.

According to Microsoft, the Skype noise cancellation feature is designed to silence ambient noises except for your voice when you are communicating with Skype. The end result is trouble-free communication, which will enhance the productivity of business meetings to a large extent. The noise cancellation functionality is not yet available on the Web and Mobile versions of Skype.

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The noise cancellation module works by analyzing your audio feed and making use of deep neural networks to eliminate the noise without affecting the speaker’s voice. The conventional noise suppression algorithms can only address simple and consistent noises like that of a fan. It will not be able to distinguish between complex noises like typing on the keyboard and crunch of a food wrapper.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com