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No Fun Allowed: 'Call of Duty' Turns to AI to Drive 'Toxicity' Out of Voice Chat

No Fun Allowed: 'Call of Duty' Turns to AI to Drive 'Toxicity' Out of Voice Chat

Voice chats in video games have long been a haven for young people who want to blow off steam and engage in friendly “trash talk,” but the mega-corporations that run the biggest franchises don’t like that.

They’re planning to use AI to make video game chats just as sanitized and politically correct as the rest of the world. Activision-Blizzard, the company that owns the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise, plans to deploy a AI tool to monitor the verbal chats of players in real time, looking for “toxic” speech that can lead to censorship or a ban. Activision Blizzard Call of Duty display (Chesnot/Getty) Via PC Gamer: Call of Duty is joining the growing number of online games combatting toxicity by listening to in-game voice chat, and it’s using AI to assist the process. Activision announced a partnership with AI outfit Modulate to integrate its proprietary voice moderation tool—ToxMod—into Modern Warfare 2, Warzone 2, and the upcoming Modern Warfare 3. Activision says ToxMod, which begins beta testing in North American servers today, is able to “identify in real-time and enforce against toxic speech—including hate speech, discriminatory language, harassment and more.” Modulate describes ToxMod as “the only proactive voice chat moderation solution purpose-built for games.” While the official website lists a few games ToxMod is already being used in (mostly small VR games like Rec Room), Call of Duty’s hundreds of thousands of daily players will likely represent the largest deployment of the tool to date. Unlike a ban from social media platforms, which are generally free to use, being banned from a video game (or a gaming platform, like Xbox Live) can make hundreds of dollars of investment near-useless.

The next Call of Duty instalment costs $69.99 to preorder on the franchise’s official website, and also requires investing hundreds of dollars in an expensive PlayStation or Xbox games console, or a top-tier gaming PC. Activison-Blizzard reportedly plans to roll out the tool with the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in November. Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election. Follow him on Twitter @AllumBokhari. .

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