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Valorant Will Begin Monitoring Voice Chats Starting July 13th

On July 13th, Valorant’s free first-person shooter (FPS) creator Riot Games will begin listening in on player voice interactions (via PCGamer). The game developer claims that this is to aid in the training of the language models that it will ultimately employ for assessing player feedback across all of its games.

Riot first made this change public in April 2021 after updating their privacy policy. In order to eliminate hate speech and abuse using voice chat, the new conditions allow Riot to “collect and potentially assess audio data when utilizing Riot-owned voice communication channels.” When a player complains another player for making inappropriate or abusive statements, Riot claims it will review the tape. This should therefore make it easier for the business to decide if the reported player broke its rules and take appropriate action.

Riot is utilizing the data it gathers to help create the beta of the system it hopes to roll out later this year, rather than beginning to evaluate player reports based on these recordings just yet. Riot will only assess the discussions of English-speaking Valorant players in North America for the time being. Use of another communication medium, such as Discord, or total voice chat disablement are the only ways to reject this arrangement.

In its introduction, Riot states, “We recognize that before we can even consider extending this tool, we’ll have to be satisfied it’s successful. If mistakes arise, we have procedures in place to make sure we can fix any false positives (or negatives, for that matter).”

Riot claims that when the technology is implemented, it won’t “actively monitor your live game communications” and would only “possibly listen to and study voice logs” if you are reported for acting disruptively. Additionally, it states that, like it does for reports sent through its text-based chat platforms, it will destroy this information once the issue has been resolved. Similar to the always-on Vanguard anti-cheat system that keeps an eye on your behavior both inside and outside of Valorant, it will undoubtedly cause privacy worries in some players.

In addition to the proposed reporting mechanism, Valorant is working to eliminate toxic gamers in other ways. This year, Riot began allowing Valorant players to add particular terms or phrases to a “muted words list” that is intended to help filter out offensive chatter.

Joe Wallace
Joe Wallace
Joe Wallace is a reporter with over two decades of experience, writing about the latest and greatest technology news. With the most experience on TheOptic team, Joe strives to help highlight the most exciting developments in the technology world, as well as bring you the latest updates on new and developing technologies from around the world.
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