The benefits and risks of imitating voices through artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence technologies have provided many products and services. Of course, relying on these techniques to imitate sounds is fun and interesting, but it is certainly very dangerous.

These technologies are now able to reproduce sounds and create them accurately and convincingly to the maximum. All that the user might need is to provide the AI ​​model with audio files for anyone. Accordingly, artificial intelligence can simulate the voice and speech of this person.

Once that AI learning process is over, the user experience becomes easier. The artificial intelligence will be able to read any text with a real and highly convincing voice. Therefore, it is possible to deceive anyone by relying on this technique.

These techniques have developed greatly in the recent period, which is described by the term “speech synthesis”. Neural networks are now able to fully simulate the sound, not just by cutting words into letters and then linking them again.

What’s special—and frightening—about speech synthesis technologies is that they aren’t exclusive to a particular company or platform. Rather, it is a technology that is available to everyone. Once you search through Google for phrases such as “AI voice synthesis” or “AI voice deepfakes,” many results will appear for sites that provide this service. Such as Resemble.AI, Respeecher, and others.

Imitation of sounds through artificial intelligence

Although these technologies are still in their infancy, they have raised the concern and suspicion of millions of users around the world. Especially after being used in real projects.

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The beginnings of this may have been evident in one of the documentaries that were produced soon. A documentary about chef Anthony Bourdain came out last July. After its release, its makers revealed that they relied on artificial intelligence only to imitate Bourdain’s voice.

That’s because Bourdain sent the filmmakers a letter containing some scripts. Instead of presenting it in a traditional way, they used artificial intelligence to mimic a man’s voice. Other useful applications have also emerged, when a startup company announced that it had succeeded in making a version of the voice of actor Val Kilmer, after his vocal cords were damaged by treatment.

The previous examples address both beneficial and ethical uses of these techniques, but there are undoubtedly other more harmful uses, such as imitating one person’s voice to deceive another, or even use in scams in general.

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These technologies have moved on to another, funnier stage. In the future, celebrities and actors may “rent their voices” through paid online services. An example of this was Veritone, which launched a similar service that allows celebrity voices to be licensed and used.

These technologies have also been relied upon even within software and applications geared towards ordinary users, such as the Descript podcast application, which allows content creators to create a copy of their voice and use it to create content.

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