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Roblox Incorporates Voice Moderation with Speechly Acquisition

Roblox has announced the acquisition of Speechly, a voice technology startup focused on AI moderation and interactions.


Gaming platform Roblox has announced an acquisition of Speechly, a voice technology startup. The acquisition comes two years after Roblox's announcement of introducing voice chat to its platform.

Speechly, based in Helsinki, Finland, was established in 2016 with a vision to enhance computer voice interactions and facilitate better communication online. Their innovative real-time voice moderation technology aims to curb toxic behavior in online communities. A study by Speechly revealed that while nearly 70% of gamers have utilized voice chat, 72% of them have encountered a toxic incident.

Enhancing User Experience with Voice Features

Roblox's venture into voice chat-based interactions began with allowing developers to incorporate voice into their games. This transitioned from the traditional text bubbles above avatars to real-time voice interactions. The company's recent introduction of avatar-based voice calls with facial motion tracking is a testament to its commitment to enhancing user experience.

This feature enables Roblox users to engage in a virtual space and converse live. With an increasing number of users aged 17 and above, Roblox aims to provide content and experiences tailored to its maturing audience. Speechly's AI moderation tools will play a pivotal role in managing real-time voice communication on the platform.

A Shared Vision for Safety and Civility

Safety and civility form the core principles of Roblox. The integration of Speechly will bolster Roblox's efforts in ensuring a safe and civil environment for its users. Hannes Heikinheimo, co-founder and CTO of Speechly, emphasized the alignment of both companies' visions in a blog post.

He stated, “Roblox is building the leading platform for 3D immersive communication and connection. With the addition of new voice features, Roblox is solving new challenges—moderating spoken language in real time.” He further expressed excitement about joining a company that prioritizes safety and civility and highlighted the potential of AI in revolutionizing traditional moderation methods to cater to the dynamic needs of a user-generated content platform.

Speechly's Notable Achievements

Founded on the belief that voice is the future of online interaction, Speechly has made significant strides in the voice technology domain. Their products have been instrumental in providing swift, real-time, and cost-effective voice moderation solutions. This has greatly aided developers in mitigating toxic behavior in online communities.

Speechly's achievements have garnered attention and investments from notable entities, including Y Combinator, Cherry Ventures, and TQ Ventures, among others. Their commitment to and privacy is evident from their recent attainment of the SOC 2 Type II certification, which underscores their dedication to handling client data with utmost integrity and confidentiality.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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