New Microsoft Teams AI feature could kill need for a headset

All of the new AI features in Microsoft Teams are available now.

Credit: Dreamstime

The continued use of AI to improve conversations in Microsoft Teams is delivering improvements across several areas, the company said Monday. Here's an important one: You might not need your computer headset any more.

Microsoft began work in this area years ago, adding the capability to help filter out background noise from other conversations, dogs barking, and so on. On Monday, the Teams team outlined several other improvements in both voice and video that are being rolled out.

For one, Microsoft said that it's been able to achieve better performance during Teams calls where users aren't using a headset. Mics and speakers are often placed close to one another on a laptop, and they could easily create a feedback loop as incoming audio from a speaker was received from a mic and then rebroadcast, that's why headsets are used today.

Microsoft said that it's been able to eliminate that feedback through echo cancellation, eliminating the need for a headset. It also uses what it knows of the room you're sitting in to improve the audio quality, too. This subtle de-reverberation should help to make background echoes a thing of the past, Microsoft said.

Microsoft is adding more controls to touch up your appearance during Teams callsCredit: Microsoft
Microsoft is adding more controls to touch up your appearance during Teams calls

Microsoft said that it's also used AI to improve two-way conversations, allowing a user to interrupt to ask a question. Teams now uses AI to better pick up a user's voice, allowing a user to talk back to a participant.

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Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
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