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Voice Cloning |

Voice Cloning

Context

∙ Voice cloning through Artificial Intelligence (AI) has created fears around the AI software as AI voice cloning-related scams burgeoned.

About

∙ A report by Market US has revealed that the global market for these voice cloning applications stands at $1.2 billion in 2022 and is estimated to touch almost $5 billion in 2032 with a CAGR above 15-40%.

How are voice clones done?

∙ Once a scammer finds an audio clip of an individual, all it takes is to upload their voice clip to the online program that is able to replicate the voice accurately barring some intonations.

∙ There’s a host of these applications online with popular ones like Murf, Resemble and Speechify.

∙ Recently, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political  party  used  an AI-generated speech from the now imprisoned leader in an attempt to rally for votes.

Applications

∙ Preserving legacy: Can keep the voices of loved ones alive for future generations.

∙ Apple introduced a voice cloning feature in iOS 17 intended to help people who may be in danger of losing their voice to a degenerative disease.

∙ Personalized experiences: Custom virtual   assistants,   interactive storytelling, and more immersive digital interactions.

∙ Gaming: Prominent tech companies also have a hand in the AI voice game. Recently, Meta launched SeamlessM4T, which can understand nearly 100 languages from speech or text and generate translations in real-time.

∙ Accessibility: Can offer voice to those who have lost it or will lose it due to illness or disability.

∙ Song creations: YouTube took a similar route and announced Dream Track that allows them to create song clips featuring AI vocals with permission from pop stars like Demi Lovato, Sia and John Legend.

∙ Creative applications: Enhancing storytelling, audio games, and immersive experiences.

Issues

∙ Scams: In April 2023, a family living in Arizona, U.S. was threatened to pay ransom for a fake kidnapping pulled off by an AI cloned voice.

∙ Reporting issues: Several cases went unreported and only some came to light.

∙ Fake news: Easy access to AI voice clones also spawned disinformation.

∙ Harry Potter actress Emma Watson allegedly read out a portion of the Mein Kampf.

∙ Privacy and consent: Concerns about unauthorized recording and use of voices without consent need to be addressed.

∙ Ethical considerations: Potential for exploitation, manipulation, and emotional harm through impersonation and misuse.

∙ Social implications: Impact on identity, trust, and communication dynamics in the digital age.

∙ Hate speech: Recently, users started flocking to free AI voice cloning tools to generate celebrity hate speech.

∙ Conservative political pundit Ben Shapiro allegedly made racist comments against Democrat politician Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

Measures

∙ Regulatory frameworks: Robust legal and ethical guidelines are crucial to prevent misuse and protect privacy.

∙ The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering the adoption of a recently-proposed Impersonation Rule that will help deter deceptive voice cloning.

∙ Technological safeguards: Watermarking and other authentication mechanisms can help identify and verify cloned voices.

∙ Public awareness and education: Educating the public about voice cloning technology and its potential risks is vital.

∙ The US Federal Trade Commission has also launched a Voice Cloning Challenge which asked the public to send in their ideas to detect, evaluate and monitor cloned devices.

∙ Responsible development and application: Promoting ethical and transparent use of voice cloning for positive societal impact.

Way Ahead

∙ The future of voice cloning hinges on responsible development and utilization, balancing its potential benefits with ethical considerations and safeguards to avoid its misuse.

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