Microsoft brings AI-powered background blurring to Skype

Donna Miller
February 8, 2019

When using the latest version of Skype for a call, users can hover their cursor over the video icon to reveal additional video settings, including the new "blur my background" toggle. This feature will enable you to blur the background while on video calls to protect you from embarrassing moments.

To activate the function, you can pass the mouse pointer over the Skype video button and select "Blur my background".

This feature is now available on Skype versions for most desktops, but we have not spotted a new version of Skype on the Microsoft Store as of yet. You can download it at this link. Microsoft has added a new feature to its chat service that might mitigate situations like those, and others: A background blur that relies on artificial intelligence to focus on the caller, to the exclusion of what's around them. Skype Users Will Now Be Able To Make Calls With Amazon Alexa in India. The feature is only available on desktop for now, and the team didn't say if this feature will eventually come to mobile. The technology detects hair, hands and arms, Microsoft said in a blog post, ensuring users don't accidentally end up headless or limbless.

New emoji for 2019 include wheelchairs, waffles and sloths
Plan International UK submitted it to the emoji powers-that-be at Unicode , but "sadly, the design didn't get accepted". One person, commenting on Plan International's tweet about the news, described the new emoji as "stunning and brave".

Now, before you get carried away and decide it's totally cool to leave up all those Fight Club posters in your home office, Skype does issue a pretty important note of caution. But that should not stop you from trying this new feature from Skype.

Cautioning the users, Microsoft also mentioned, "We do our best to make sure that your background is always blurred, but we can not guarantee that your background will always be blurred".

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