Google Meet

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Watch: Google incorporates AI noise cancellation feature for G Suite users [video]

The Google Meet feature has been in the works for more than a year, and thousands of hours have gone into training the AI model to identify unwanted sounds.

Google Meet

Image via Adobe Stock

Google are looking to improve its Google Meet service to help it compete with many new competitors in the space. The team at Google will be rolling out an AI solution to try and decrease the noise picked up during calls.

VentureBeat showcased Google’s background noise cancellation in a video which shows how good the app is at filtering out unwanted noise.

In the video G Suite’s director of product management Serge Lachapelle show how the AI noise cancellation is able to remove the sound of a crackling chip packet, a clinking glass and a clicking pen.

How does the noise cancellation feature work?

The feature has been in the works for more than a year now and was initially announced back in April this year just as the workers of the world were retreating to their homes.

Google used thousands of hours of internal meetings and YouTube videos of lots of people talking to train the AI model. The noise cancellation software will also be able to filter out one of the most obvious types of unwanted noise, typing on a keyboard.

The feature is rolling out to G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers at the moment and will be available on web with Android and iOS coming at some point in the future.

Watch: Google Meet’s noise cancellation feature in action

Google’s AI noise cancellation happens in the cloud, which should rightfully raise red flags around security. However, Google has stressed that meeting streams will remain encrypted in transit.

Additionally, Google will not be using user meetings to train AI models. It will instead monitor support channels to assess where the software is encountering challenges.

As much as this still sounds a bit problematic, it’s still likely orders of magnitude more secure than some of the free alternatives out there.

AI to the rescue

The cloud-based solution has the advantage of easily being deployed on various devices and applications as there’s no need for specific hardware or performance specs.

Once the feature has rolled out to users, it will be on by default. Users will be able to switch it off from within the audio options in the Google Meet app.

The initial release is going out to Enterprise users, but it’s believed that this will be rolled out to more users over time. The online meeting space has become somewhat settled with Zoom the big winner so far.

Google, however, are rallying having integrated Meet into Gmail and now looking to make use of it’s AI prowess to improve customer user experience.