Apple's already censoring out unwanted rap lyrics - peep their new "Taliban Gang" free version of "Jumpman" - but the tech giant has just filed a patent that would take music censorship to a whole new level.
As first reported by Business Insider, Apple recently had a patent granted for a "Management, Replacement and Removal of Explicit Lyrics during Audio Playback" system that would automatically scan songs for unwanted words and replace them with "a muting, silence, beep tone, or other censoring method" in real time. That's right, you too will soon be able to listen to annoying radio edits of songs from the comfort of your own home.
The upside of this technology is obvious, as a parent I'm constantly nervous I'm going to accidentally teach my daughter a new four-letter word just listening to my favorite music. But in practice, beyond the obvious words it's hilarious to think about a computer program attempting to censor lyrics, especially in a genre as linguistically flexible as hip-hop.
What about the lowkey fucked up lines? Would the program be advanced enough to know that Nelly's "Country Grammar" is about a drive by shooting, "skeet" is the kind of word that belongs as a Pornhub category? Would it attempt to remove "negro" from Beyoncé's "Formation" like the radio does? Would you be able to listen to any Too $hort songs at all, or would Apple just automatically power off if you attempted to play his What's My Favorite Word? album.
We're a long way from this technology actually coming to market, but in twenty years when we're serving our robot masters and we can't even listen to Kendrick Lamar's new album, Fuck The Robots, because every word's been replaced by beeps, don't say I didn't warn you. George Carlin, take 'em out.