Discord Launches Beta to Keep Out All That Background Noise

Illustration for article titled Discord Launches Beta to Keep Out All That Background Noise
Graphic: Discord

Discord’s testing a new noise suppression tool to help prevent background noise like barking dogs or the deafening clatter of a mechanical keyboard from drowning out people’s voices.

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In a blog post Friday, the popular chat service announced its partnership with Krisp, a service and standalone app that uses machine learning to recognize and quiet distracting background chatter. The feature’s beta began for desktop users today, and a mobile release is currently in the works, according to Discord.

“Have a vacuum running in the background; slam a door; ruffle a bag of chips; keep using your really loud keyboard your friends complain about. They won’t be able to hear it,” reads the post.

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As for privacy, a subject of justifiable concern given previous missteps by big tech companies employing AI, Discord clarified that having Krisp enabled doesn’t send any of your data to the company’s servers. “No voice, user, video or any data is ever sent or shared outside of Discord.”

You can toggle noise suppression on and off in the settings menu under “Voice and Video,” as well as during video and voice calls.

As someone whose keyboard is as obnoxiously loud as it is obnoxiously pink, I welcome this quality of life tweak, the latest in a series that Discord has made as more and more people rely on online chat services while practicing social distancing amid this novel coronavirus outbreak.

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In Friday’s blog post, the company said its daily number of voice users has increased 50 percent within the United States since the beginning of the year. In countries where residents are under countrywide lockdowns to help curb the virus’s spread, that figure has shot up even further. In Spain, twice as many people now talk on Discord every day compared to the start of 2020, and in Italy, that number has more than tripled. To help all those users stave off cabin fever while holed up in their homes, last month Discord raised the limit on concurrent viewers for its built-in game streaming feature, bumping it up from 10 to 50 people.

Gizmodo weekend editor. Freelance games reporter. Full-time disaster bi.

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