Doritos is using AI to appeal to gamers’ sensitive ears

Doritos released software that mutes the sound of noisy chip crunches over a microphone.

A woman making the “shh” gesture in front of rows of Doritos chips on a blue background with white swirls.

A crunchy snack is fine most of the time, but not in movie theaters or when you’re trying to game online. Who can strategize while someone’s mowing down on Cool Ranch Doritos all night?

Thankfully, PepsiCo is aware of this issue and has released Doritos Silent in response.

What’s that… A soggy chip?

Nah. It’s a free “crunch cancellation” software that took NYC-based engineering and design studio Smooth Technology six months to develop.

Developers used AI to analyze 5k+ different crunching noises, which the software can detect and silence without stifling the gamer’s voice.

It’s compatible with all PCs, but not Macs (like most video games, actually).

Why all this?

Gaming is a huge industry and — according to Matt Watson of Sips & Bites, PepsiCo’s in-house creative agency — it’s Doritos’ “heartland,” making it crucial to identify solutions to provide the best snacking and gaming experience possible.

Doritos found ~33% of US gamers are distracted by other people’s crunching; in Portugal and Spain, 68% and 64% of players, respectively, say chips create the worst food noise while gaming.

Does it work?

PC Gamer tested the tech and was not particularly impressed, finding that while it did isolate Doritos’ crunches, it failed to keep up with similar snacks.

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