While heads of state grapple with the existential risks AI poses, PepsiCo is using AI to solve real-world problems caused by its popular Doritos snack.
When gamers eat crunchy snacks the crunching sounds come through loud and clear on the headsets of their fellow gamers.
Casual gamers might dismiss this as a non-issue but gaming can get extremely competitive with some saying the sounds of snacking are a performance-diminishing distraction.
To fix this, PepsiCo asked Smooth Technology to develop Doritos Silent which stops any crunching sounds from being transmitted over a gamer’s headset mic.
Dylan Fashbaugh, a lead developer at Smooth Technology said, “We all know that gamers love Doritos, but that unmistakable crunch can often disrupt those intense gaming moments. We’ve worked to ensure gamers can enjoy the crunch of Doritos without disturbing their fellow players, making for a better gaming experience.”
The AI was trained using over 5,000 Doritos crunches by someone who now has a rather interesting item to add to their resume.
A reviewer at PC Gamer called the idea “profoundly stupid” but admitted the software worked fairly well albeit with varying results for other snacks.
It might be easy to laugh this off as a marketing stunt but the gaming industry is a huge market that continues to grow. In 2023 gaming revenue is expected to hit $188 billion.
Game design and controlling non-player characters may be where most of AI’s impact is felt, rather than AI-augmented snack noise cancelation.
If you want to try Doritos Silent out you can download it from the Doritos website. Even if you’re not a gamer you might find this useful when snacking during your next Zoom or Teams meeting.