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Unity buys acoustic intelligence company OTO to help devs curb toxicity

Unity buys acoustic intelligence company OTO to help devs curb toxicity

August 24, 2021 | By Chris Kerr

Unity has acquired AI-driven acoustic intelligence platform OTO to help its developers build and foster safer, more inclusive gaming environments. 

OTO will be integrated into the Unity-owned voice and text communication platform, Vivox, to give developers the means to curb toxic behavior within their online communities. 

A new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Unity indicates that 68 percent of players have experienced toxic behavior while playing multiplayer games, with 67 percent of players adding that they are "very [or] somewhat likely" to stop playing a multiplayer title if another player exhibits toxic behavior. 

The Harris Poll survey was conducted online within the United States and featured 2076 adults, among whom 1167 identified as multiplayer gamers. 

"Over the past year, we saw how people all over the world found respite in gaming, due to the desire to connect with friends and family,” said Felix The, VP of product management and operate solutions at Unity. 

"The findings of our survey being released today also illustrate that with the rise in cross platform, multiplayer gaming, most players also felt there was a surge in toxic behavior. With OTO's integration into our portfolio of gaming services, we aim to empower creators with a simple, scalable solution to design safe virtual environments that promote friendly experiences and detect problematic social behaviors.”

By leveraging OTO, Unity and Vivox intend to equip developers with voice analytics capabilities that can be used to foster positivity. According to Unity, creators will have access to an acoustic intonation engine that operates 100 times faster than speech recognition, is language independent, and is able to detect a wider and more accurate range of disruptive behavior.

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