Apple recently instituted a keyboard repair program after numerous complaints about the butterfly keyboard mechanism used by previous generation MacBooks. Customers found that keyboard was prone to failure, often due to dust or debris that became lodged under the keys. There have even been several class action lawsuits filed against Apple, one of which accuses the company of fraudulently concealing a major design defect.
When announcing the new MacBook Pro, Apple noted that the laptop features "an improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing"; however, it tells the Verge that the keyboard was not designed to address issues with dust and debris. Whether or not the new silicone barrier is only for damping noise is up to you to decide.
Take a look at the video below and let us know what you think in the comments.