We must have sometime faced poor acoustics in our room, leading to lousy hearing or conference rooms. However, Tech-giant Microsoft has come up with a solution to upgrade the conferencing experience using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
In this way, Microsoft Teams will soon be adding some highly useful features to enhance the overall audio and video performance. Microsoft announced that it would introduce echo elimination and anti-interruption tools to Teams.
Reportedly, Microsoft has been testing this for months, measuring its models in the real world to ensure that the Teams users notice the echo reduction and improvements in call quality which is a genuine problem faced by its users.
Robert Aichner, Principal Program Manager for intelligent conversation and communications cloud at Microsoft, was quoted as saying in an interview, “While we have been trying our best with digital signal processing to do a really good job in Teams, we have now started using machine learning for the first time to build echo cancellation where you can truly reduce echo from all the different devices,”
He further added, “We also simulate about 100,000 different rooms… the room acoustics play a big role in echo cancellation.”
Interestingly, Microsoft took 30,000 hours testing the speech samples by pairing the AI and ML to reduce interruptions during conferences or normal conversations.
However, suppose Teams discovers the sound bouncing or echoing in a room leading to poor audio quality. In that case, the model will also convert to record the audio and again process it to make it sound like Teams members are speaking into a close-range microphone instead of echoey acoustics.
The result is big enhancement in in-call audio quality, and an improvement in echo interruptions that also allows multiple people to speak at the same time, the report said.