theodp writes "On Tuesday, the USPTO awarded Microsoft a patent for the Automatic Censorship of Audio Data for Broadcast, an invention that addresses 'producing censored speech that has been altered so that undesired words or phrases are either unintelligible or inaudible.' The patent describes methods for muting offensive words and replacing them with less offensive versions, and 'a third alternative provides for overwriting the undesired word with a masking sound, i.e., "bleeping" the undesired word with a tone.' After all, there's nothing worse than being subjected to offensive speech when you're shooting someone in the head."
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