In a world where artificial intelligence is often portrayed as a harbinger of doom or the catalyst for humanity’s eventual destruction, there are times when AI is used for more practical and, dare we say, whimsical purposes. Enter Doritos Silent, a new software developed by PepsiCo, aimed at tackling the age-old problem of annoying eating sounds while gaming.
For many avid gamers, indulging in a bag of Doritos and playing video games are practically synonymous. However, this beloved snacking experience can become an issue when it comes to online gaming with friends and headset microphones. The telltale crunching sounds of Doritos have been known to disrupt communication and hinder gaming performance, leaving players frustrated.
To address this unique challenge, PepsiCo introduced Doritos Silent, which they describe as “the world’s first AI-augmented snack powered by crunch cancellation.” This innovative solution allows gamers to munch on their Doritos without the fear of disturbing their fellow players. In addition to the snack, PepsiCo has made the software available for free download, albeit exclusively for Windows PCs at the moment.
Developing Doritos Silent was no small feat, involving six months of work with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Over 5,000 crunching sounds were meticulously analyzed to create this AI-powered snacking experience.
Dylan Fashbaugh, a lead developer at Smooth Technology in New York who contributed to the project, stated, “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.”
Naturally, some critics may dismiss Doritos Silent as a trivial or marketing-driven gimmick. In fact, a PC Gamer review described it as “profoundly stupid,” even though it acknowledged that the software worked well with Doritos, if not always with other snacks.
Notwithstanding the criticism, Doritos Silent is a reflection of advertisers’ increasing interest in the video gaming sector, which is expected to produce an astounding $188 billion in revenue globally this year—a 2.6% increase from 2022. Companies like PepsiCo and others are keen to enter this sector, which is predicted to have 3.4 billion players, demonstrating the gaming industry’s growing potential and significance.