Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

Microsoft has acquired Two Hat, a content material moderation supplier that’s helped preserve dangerous content material off Xbox. Founded practically 10 years in the past by a former Disney Interactive safety specialist, Two Hat makes use of AI to categorise and filter billions of human interactions throughout messages, photos, usernames, movies, and extra. Microsoft has been working with Two Hat for the previous few years to enhance its Xbox communities, however the phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“For the past few years, Microsoft and Two Hat have worked together to implement proactive moderation technology into gaming and non-gaming experiences to detect and remove harmful content before it ever reaches members of our communities,” explains Dave McCarthy, head of Xbox product providers. “Two Hat’s technology has helped to make global communities in Xbox, Minecraft and MSN safer for users.”

The acquisition is designed to enhance Microsoft’s first-party content material moderation in gaming, and even prolong to the corporate’s shopper providers. Microsoft has large plans for shopper providers, after hiring a former Uber exec to lead a new consumer apps effort earlier this year.

Microsoft has been attempting to amass widespread communities lately, together with TikTok, Pinterest, and Discord. CEO Satya Nadella has expressed an curiosity in Microsoft specializing in creators and communities, and moderation performs a crucial half in any on-line community-based service.


Image: Microsoft
Microsoft’s Xbox community has textual content filters.

Two Hat additionally has a variety of its personal clients, and Microsoft isn’t planning to cease supporting them. “This is a deep investment in assisting and serving Two Hat’s existing customers, prospective new customers and multiple product and service experiences here at Microsoft,” says McCarthy. “With this acquisition, we will help global online communities to be safer and inclusive for everyone to participate, positively contribute and thrive.”

Microsoft launched a variety of text-based filters for its Xbox network three years in the past, after Xbox chief Phil Spencer outlined a plan for fighting toxicity in gaming. Two Hat has been aiding with a few of these Xbox moderation efforts, and Microsoft additionally has a wider purpose of having the ability to filter out Xbox Live celebration classes sooner or later so dwell audio calls will be filtered with real-time bleeps just like broadcast TV.

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