How to Activate Google Meet’s Background Noise Cancellation

Competition between video conferencing platforms is fierce. Companies are constantly introducing new features to stand out from the crowd. Google’s video conferencing app, Google Meet – formerly known as Hangouts Meet – launched a new noise canceling function that uses machine learning to differentiate human voices and background noise.

Google Meet is the first app to use an AI-based noise cancellation feature. Other video conferencing applications have background noise suppression features, but with many limitations. The company has been working on this feature for some time and recently announced that it will be available to all of its users in the coming months.

How the noise canceling function works

Noise cancellation is similar to speech recognition in that a machine learning model must be trained to understand speech. By using a labeled data set, the learning model learns to distinguish noise from speech. As a result, it eliminates noise and retains speech. Google relied on corporate meetings and YouTube audio clips to form the model.

The background noise canceling feature of Google Meet identifies the user’s voice, and then eliminates all other types of noise that don’t match the voice. The function attenuates any external noise, including the sounds produced by ceiling fans, children, door bangs, etc. In addition, it can calculate the distance between the noise source and the microphone. Therefore, it will be much easier to distinguish between your voice and the external sound.

How disturbing noise is filtered

The machine learning model adapts to the amplitude to determine what needs to be filtered. The noise cancellation used by other video conferencing applications can only identify familiar sounds such as keyboard keys. What Google doesn’t have among its competitors is artificial intelligence. The functionality of Google Meet uses AI, which makes it more advanced than other applications.

This is an impressive step forward in limiting interruptions while users are in a meeting. If you pay close attention to the sound produced when the noise canceling function is inactive compared to when it is active, you will certainly hear the difference.

How to activate the noise canceling function

Enabling this feature on the Google Meet app is very simple. You can also choose to do this before the start of a meeting or during the session.

To activate noise cancellation before a meeting.

  • From the home page, go to Settings. (Select the gear icon in the right corner of the app.)
  • You will see two tabs, one for audio and one for video. Click the Audio tab.
  • Under the microphone you will see the noise canceling option, just click the gray toggle button to activate it.
  • The gray toggle button turns green, which means the function is active.

To activate noise cancellation during a meeting.

  • During a meeting, tap the three vertical dots located in the lower right corner of the application.
  • In the list of options, click Settings.
  • You will see two tabs, one for audio and one for video. Again, click on the Audio tab.
  • Below the microphone you will see the Noise Canceling option. As in the previous situation, simply click on the gray toggle button to activate it.
  • The gray toggle button turns green, which means the function is active. You should be able to hear the difference in seconds.

How to turn off the noise canceling function

The background noise canceling feature of Google Meet is enabled by default for all devices using the platform. However, there will be no visual indication that it is activated. This will keep the software interface as clean as possible. Users can always choose to disable it by following the steps below.

  • Open the Google Meet app / website.
  • Go to your settings. (Select the gear icon in the right corner of the app.)
  • You will see two tabs, one for audio and one for video. Click the Audio tab.
  • Under the microphone, click to turn off the noise canceling option. You will know it is activated if the toggle switch is green.
  • The gray toggle switch means that the function is inactive / deactivated.

What does noise cancellation look like

If you don’t have G Suite Enterprise or G Suite Enterprise for Education users, you can watch a demonstration of how the feature works in a demo video produced by VentureBeat. Serge Lachapelle, director of product management for G Suite, shows how the Noice Cancellation transparently reduces outside noise.

It demonstrates with common noises such as the crumpling of the packaging, the click of the pen and the tinkling of the glass to show the effectiveness of the function. When the feature is enabled, users cannot hear the noise, but their voice remains unchanged.

It is also essential to point out that the functionality is not 100% perfect, which means that it cannot suppress all noise simply by detecting human voices. Google plans to improve the functionality of overtime after gradual deployment.

With its cloud-based machine learning model, users can benefit from these improvements simultaneously on any device configured to use it.

Confidentiality and security of user data

Regarding the confidentiality and security of a user’s data, Lachapelle stressed that the data is encrypted. Google will not use external meetings to train its AI model. Rather, it will use customer feedback to improve functionality over time.

Planned release and availability

Currently, not all devices have this functionality, despite cloud-based AI. Google has yet to release noise canceling for mobile devices, but it will soon be available to all smartphone users.

The noise canceling feature is only available for G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education users. Google has also announced that it will roll out the functionality to the Google Meet Web Client before mobile devices. It’s still unclear when the noise canceling feature will be available for personal Google accounts.

Conclusion

A step ahead of video and audio communication, Google’s new noise canceling feature puts it at the forefront of the competition. No more getting up and moving to a “quieter place” – this feature should be exactly what you need.

Related post
READ  9 Best Microsoft Whiteboard Keyboard Shortcuts to Boost Productivity

Leave a Comment