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Call of Duty Uses AI To Shoot Down Voice Chat Toxicity

The behemoth publisher will fully launch artificial intelligence moderation alongside Modern Warfare III later this year 

Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard has partnered with AI company Modulate to curb the toxicity of in-game lobbies and voice chats. Toxicity has been a persistent issue in the game’s history, so much so that surveys call the game’s fan base the most toxic in gaming, especially after one incident between two players led to the summoning of a SWAT team

Activision has since been trying to crack down on toxicity for years. The company is now implementing artificial intelligence to bring in-game voice chat moderation to its games, with a beta currently running on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Call of Duty: Warzone. 

The publisher’s new moderation system uses an AI technology called ToxMod to identify behaviours like discrimination, harassment and hate speech in real time. 

AI moderation in games 

Activision also revealed that, “A full worldwide release” of ToxMod (excluding Asia), will be released alongside its much-anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III on November 10th. 

“This new development will bolster the ongoing moderation systems led by the Call of Duty anti-toxicity team, which includes text-based filtering across 14 languages for in-game text (chat and usernames) as well as a robust in-game player reporting system,” said Activision in a blog post

While a press release from Modulate does not explicitly detail how ToxMod works, it states that the tool, “Triages voice chat to flag bad behavior, analyses the nuances of each conversation to determine toxicity and enables moderators to quickly respond to each incident by supplying relevant and accurate context.” 

The company’s CEO told VentureBeat that the plan with ToxMod is to go beyond mere transcription, taking factors such as the player’s emotions and volume into context and even differentiating harmful statements from playful ones. 

For now, ToxMod is not taking any action on offenders but will submit data reports to Activision’s moderators so the publisher can maintain human involvement in cracking down on toxicity in its games. 

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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