Apple Granted Patent For Technology That Censors Swear Words

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Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the Inauguration of the Academic Year at Bocconi University on Nov. 10, 2015 in Milan, Italy. 

If Apple has its way, your swear jar will go the route of VHS tapes. According to Business Insider, the tech giant has been granted a patent for a technology that can automatically scan streamed songs and edit out offending lyrics.

The company reportedly filed a patent application in September 2014 for "Management, Replacement and Removal of Explicit Lyrics during Audio Playback," a system that detects and marks explicit sections of songs and then edits them to make them more family-friendly. According to the patent application, those offending sections would then be replaced with a beeping noise, or non-explicit lyrics after the system compares the NSFW words with a library of explicit terms in order to confirm that they are inappropriate.

In addition, the system could also detect the music behind the lyrics and remove the swear words, creating background music that ensures the track keeps rolling along without disruption. Business Insider notes that the patent doesn't just apply to music, but also mentions audio books, meaning Apple could potentially edit out four letter words and sex scenes in books to make them more family-friendly.

For now, it doesn't seem as if Apple is planning to roll the technology out on iTunes or the streaming Apple Music service, where its Beats 1 free online radio station already plays non-explicit versions of songs. A spokesperson for Apple had not returned requests for comment by press time. 


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