Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Microsoft Nabs Another &#@*%-ing Patent

Last week Microsoft was granted U.S. patent No. 7437290 for, essentially, a technology that lets the company bleep out words in an audio stream that match a list of predefined bad words.

According to Ars Technica Micrsoft originally filled for the patent back in 2004 and describes the use of an "automatic censoring filter" that can censor undesirable speech in real-time. Here's how it reportedly works:

The automatic censoring filter employs a lattice comprising either phonemes and/or words derived from phonemes for comparison against corresponding phonemes or words included in undesired speech data. If the probability that a phoneme or word in the input audio data stream matches a corresponding phoneme or word in the undesired speech data is greater than a probability threshold, the input audio data stream is altered so that the undesired word or a phrase comprising a plurality of such words is unintelligible or inaudible.

If everything works according to design you could see real time censorship popping up in teamspeak or other voice chat platforms. It could also mean no more seven second delay for live television and radio broadcasts.

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