‘Valorant’ will use your voice to train AI to detect ‘disruptive behaviour’

From July 13 Valorant will start listening and recording in-game voice communication with the aim of training a language model to identify toxic chat. This system only works in North American/English language servers. The goal is to launch the language model later this year in an effort to address toxicity in the first-person shooter.

As in any first person shooter that allows players to talk to each other, the voice chat in Riot Games’ Valorant can be toxic. It’s also incredibly difficult to moderate. Whenever someone drops a racist slur in a text chat, a clear log is kept for mods to review later. But the processing and storage power needed to do the same for voice chat just isn’t possible. “Voice chat abuse is significantly harder to detect compared to text (and often involves a more manual process),” Riot Games said in a February 2022. blog post

Riot first indicated it would do something about abusive voice chat in February 2022† “Last year, Riot updated its privacy statement and Terms of Service to enable us to record and evaluate voice communications when a disruptive behavior report is submitted, starting with: Valorant‘ it sounded at the time. Please note that this will be a first attempt at testing a new idea using brand new technology under development, so it may take a while for the feature to develop and become an effective tool to use in our arsenal We will update you with concrete plans on how it will work properly before we start collecting voice data in any form.”

Now we know what that brand new technology is: a kind of language model that automatically detects and stores toxic voice chat for later evaluation. The updated terms of service applied to all Riot games, but it said the current plan was to use Valorant to test the software solution before rolling it out to other games.

However, the ability to detect keywords from live conversations is not new. Federal and state governments are use similar systems to track calls from jails and prisons for at least several years—sometimes with the ability to automatically disconnect and report calls when certain words or phrases are detected.

Riot Games did not share details about the language model and did not immediately respond to Motherboard’s request for comment. According to a post announcing the training of the language model, this is all part of “a larger effort to combat disruptive behavior,” allowing Riot Games to “incorporate and evaluate in-game voice communications when a report is filed for that type of behavior.” .”

The updated terms of service had a little more detail. “When a player reports disruptive or objectionable behavior in voice communications, the relevant audio data will be stored in the registered region of your account and evaluated to see if our conduct agreement has been violated,” the TOS said. “If a violation is found, we take action. After the data is made available to the offending player (and is no longer needed for ratings), the data will be deleted, similar to how we currently handle text-based chat reports. If no violation is found, or if a declaration is not made in time, the data will be deleted.”

Riot Games said it would only “monitor” voice chats if a report was filed. “We will not actively monitor your live game communications. We may only listen to and view voice logs when disruptive voice behavior is reported,” it said in a Q&A about the changes. However, that’s still monitoring even when it’s not active. What this likely means is that a human won’t listen to it unless there’s a report, but that doesn’t mean a computer isn’t always listening.

The only way to avoid this, Riot Games said, was to not use the in-game voice chat systems. The monitoring starts on 13 July. “Voice evaluation during this period will not be used for reports of disruptive behavior,” Riot Games said in the post announcing the project. “This is brand new technology and there will definitely be growing pains. But the promise of a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone who chooses to play is worth it.”

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