OpenAI Can Re-Create Human Voices—however Won’t Release the Tech Yet | EUROtoday

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Voice synthesis has come a great distance since 1978’s Speak & Spell toy, which as soon as wowed folks with its state-of-the-art skill to learn phrases aloud utilizing an digital voice. Now, utilizing deep-learning AI fashions, software program can create not solely realistic-sounding voices however may also convincingly imitate current voices utilizing small samples of audio.

Along these strains, OpenAI this week introduced Voice Engine, a text-to-speech AI mannequin for creating artificial voices primarily based on a 15-second phase of recorded audio. It has supplied audio samples of the Voice Engine in motion on its web site.

Once a voice is cloned, a consumer can enter textual content into the Voice Engine and get an AI-generated voice end result. But OpenAI will not be able to extensively launch its know-how. The firm initially deliberate to launch a pilot program for builders to enroll in the Voice Engine API earlier this month. But after extra consideration about moral implications, the corporate determined to cut back its ambitions for now.

“In line with our approach to AI safety and our voluntary commitments, we are choosing to preview but not widely release this technology at this time,” the corporate writes. “We hope this preview of Voice Engine both underscores its potential and also motivates the need to bolster societal resilience against the challenges brought by ever more convincing generative models.”

Voice cloning tech on the whole will not be significantly new—there have been a number of AI voice synthesis fashions since 2022, and the tech is energetic within the open supply group with packages like OpenVoice and XTTSv2. But the concept that OpenAI is inching towards letting anybody use its specific model of voice tech is notable. And in some methods, the corporate’s reticence to launch it absolutely is perhaps the larger story.

OpenAI says that advantages of its voice know-how embrace offering studying help by natural-sounding voices, enabling international attain for creators by translating content material whereas preserving native accents, supporting non-verbal people with customized speech choices, and aiding sufferers in recovering their very own voice after speech-impairing circumstances.

But it additionally implies that anybody with 15 seconds of somebody’s recorded voice might successfully clone it, and that has apparent implications for potential misuse. Even if OpenAI by no means extensively releases its Voice Engine, the flexibility to clone voices has already brought about bother in society by telephone scams the place somebody imitates a cherished one’s voice and election marketing campaign robocalls that includes cloned voices from politicians like Joe Biden.

Also, researchers and reporters have proven that voice-cloning know-how can be utilized to interrupt into financial institution accounts that use voice authentication (resembling Chase’s Voice ID), which prompted US senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the chair of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, to ship a letter to the CEOs of a number of main banks in May 2023 to inquire in regards to the safety measures banks are taking to counteract AI-powered dangers.

OpenAI acknowledges that the tech would possibly trigger bother if broadly launched, so it is initially making an attempt to work round these points with a algorithm. It has been testing the know-how with a set of choose accomplice firms since final yr. For instance, video synthesis firm HeyGen has been utilizing the mannequin to translate a speaker’s voice into different languages whereas preserving the identical vocal sound.