Unity debuts Safe Voice to create a safer gaming community

HyperX Cloud 3 gaming headset
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Unity Gaming Services has launched Safe Voice in closed beta.
  • The tool is designed to identify toxic gaming behaviors, thus allowing developers to understand its impact on the whole experience.
  • Safe voice is natively integrated with Unity Voice Chat (Vivox).

Gaming has evolved in the past few years, and a new reality has dawned. Unlike in the past when you had to make a physical appearance to game with others, gamers now have the capability to play their favorite entries with anyone across the globe.

And while this is an incredible feat, the gaming community has been negatively impacted by "toxic voice chat." Admittedly, elaborate measures, including privacy and online safety controls, have been implemented to establish control over such instances to prevent their reoccurrence. Sadly, the issue remains persistent and a big bother to the gaming community.

However, Unity Gaming Services has debuted Safe Voice in closed beta, a new tool designed to identify "disruptive and toxic behaviors" during gameplay to help developers understand behaviors that negatively impact the gaming experience. 

"Safe Voice is a context-aware technology that analyzes unique voice characteristics like tone, loudness, pitch, and emotion, to deliver nuanced insights on more than a dozen session and player-based metrics," said Unity Gaming Services. 

The nifty tool uses "cutting-edge acoustic and semantic intelligence" to identify toxic game chat instantly, thus allowing for fast implementation of strategies designed to block out negative talks from the gaming experience. Safe Voice achieves this by analyzing key elements like tone, loudness, pitch, intonation, emotion, and context of player interactions to implement the change swiftly.

Additionally, the feature leverages advanced machine learning algorithms to detect toxic traits while gaming. 

"It is activated when players flag instances of toxic or disruptive behaviors and it also monitors for behaviors or activities in game that could be indicative of a toxic event (e.g. players muting another player or abrupt exits)," said Unity.

The tool can be configured to monitor specific interactions, which builds on player-initiated. Moreover, moderators can categorize player reports and take action based on priorities. It's also worth noting that Safe Voice is natively integrated with Unity Voice Chat (Vivox).

What's more, moderators are able to keep tabs on player interactions via detailed session reporting dashboards. As such, it's possible to get an overview of trends and behaviors that are persistent and need immediate resolution.

Unity Gaming Services has listed key benefits that ship with the "context-aware technology" as listed below:

  • Advanced toxicity detection to more effectively maintain a healthy community.
  • Customize your coverage to tackle toxicity with proactive and player-initiated monitoring.
  • Get more nuanced insights to monitor the health of your community.
  • Built for Unity Voice Chat (Vivox) making integration seamless.

Safe Voice is a breakthrough tool that has helped us better understand our community. The tool gives us visibility into what’s happening in the game, not only from a trust and safety perspective, but also from a general gameplay perspective. The extra data points in the Safe Voice dashboard have been critical for helping moderators identify higher risk users and incidents quickly, allowing us to mitigate situations before they have a chance to escalate in a much more efficient and effective way.

Tony Jones, Lead Producer, Rogue Company

Safe Voice joins Unity's wide array of AI tools, including Unity Muse and Unity Sentis in a bid to enhance how "creators bring their imaginations to life." At this time, the tool is in closed beta, though developers can request access.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.