The eagle-eyes at Ars Technica report that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved Microsoft’s application for a way to censor profane or inappropriate language.
This is great news for anyone who has put up with one too many f-bombs, or any racial/ethnic/sexual slurs at all for that matter, while trying to enjoy a game of Halo or Gears of War.
According to the patent, the invention would process incoming audio, compare the words in the audio to an index of “undesired speech” and, based on the probability of a match, censor the audio to a point where it’s “substantially no longer perceivable by a listening audience.” Better still, the probability threshold improves dynamically to improve performance down the line.
Ars Technica also points out that this technology could be used for live television applications, possibly eliminating the need for a tape delay, or at least saving producers the stress of hovering over a “bleep” button.
Let’s hope something gets developed for the Xbox 360 soon, and for the sake of our Playstation 3 owners, gets offered or developed for Sony’s console as well. Better yet would be a technology to record incidents of foul language so that bigots could be wiped from online gaming outright.