As per usual, Microsoft continues to work on improving audio and video functionalities in Microsoft Teams. In June 2022, they announced multiple new features to improve the audio functionality; including the so requested echo cancellation.
How does Microsoft Teams implements echo cancellation?
Teams uses machine learning to recognize the difference between the user’s voice and the sound from a speaker. This helps alleviate issues that usually happen when the user’s microphone is too close to the speaker, which results in a sound loop.
This same technology (machine learning) is used to convert captured audio signals to sound, resulting in less reverberation. This prevents people sounding like they are speaking in a cave.
Microsoft used a model trained with 30,000 hours of speech samples to improve interruptability in natural conversations. This sample was made with publicly available data/crowdsourcing to collect specific scenarios. It is also important to note that this sample contains a balanced amount of female and male speech, as well as 74 different languages.
New audio functionality features
In summary, these are the new features to improve the audio functionality in Microsoft Teams:
- Echo cancellation
- Improved interruptability
These features are rolling out for Teams users on Windows and Mac devices, and it’s coming soon for mobile platforms.
To read more about how Microsoft uses AI and machine learning to improve calls and meetings in Teams read this Microsoft article.
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