back to article Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!

Artificially intelligent software can listen to someone's voice only a few times, and then speak just like them, like some kind of creepy cybernetic myna bird... according to a paper published by researchers from Baidu. This technology, when perfected, will be ideal for generating fake audio clips of people saying things they …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who? Fraudsters,conmen,neer do wells,Phishers. Turns out if i put my mind to it the list is quite extensive.

    Cant think of any lawful ones though yet.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      I just though of one... People like Stephen Hawking could record their own voice and use that, after the illness had deprived them of their real voice.

      But, other than that, or dramatic readings from dead actors, I really can't think of many legitimate uses for such technology.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Advertising voice overs that can adjust the content of a campaign without recording a new segment. Additions to the DVA on trains, at airports etc without having to arrange another recoding session.

        I can see the actor's union having something to say about this.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Joke

          They can say whatever they like; this technology means that their "voice" can be made to say whatever the proponents want

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        This can't end well

        "Your honour, I have a video of the defendant admitting to the crime and also claiming to be a paedophile terrorist jihadist."

        How long until this mysteriously starts happening to enemies of the US?

        1. sisk Silver badge

          Re: This can't end well

          How long until this mysteriously starts happening to enemies of the US?

          I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it started happening years ago. Just like I'm fairly certain that at least a few intelligence organizations knew about Meltdown and were using it long before it came to public light.

    2. mr.K

      Not a single lawful one?!

      "Cant think of any lawful ones though yet."

      Imagine a world where every text ever written can be read aloud by Morgan Freeman.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not a single lawful one?!

        including the Vagina Monologues?

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Not a single lawful one?!

        Or Martin Jarvis or Stephen Fry.

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Not a single lawful one?!

          David Bowie day on Spotify: all songs played as if covered by David Bowie.

          Assuming there's also a Mark E Smith day-ah, I would subscribe immediately.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Rattus Rattus

          Re: Not a single lawful one?!

          No, I can do one better: Alan Rickman.

          Gilbert Gottfried.

          1. MrDamage

            Re: Not a single lawful one?!

            Better still;

            Max Headroom

            1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Not a single lawful one?!

              Better still;

              Mr Blobby

              "Oh Romeo, oh Romeo, where for art thou BLOBBY BLOBBY BLOBBY"

            2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

              Re: Not a single lawful one?!

              Max Headroom,.... having just slurped 'Alterered Carbon' I am in the mood for some retro futurism, and was looking for a copy of the original TV movie '20 minutes into the future' , but it's hard to come by. There's a VHS rip on YT if I get desperate I guess.

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Angel

      Ah, the potential joys of keeping cold-call scammers on the line while getting enough voice data to set them up for a damned hard swatting.

    4. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      A good reminder to think about shared secrets. You know, the name of the musical your [alleged] friend starred in while in high school. Or, perhaps the time the two of you got busted for fake IDs...now what was the name of that bar again?

    5. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Couple this tech with the video face replacement tech and there really isn't any good uses for this. Things were scary enough and about to get worse.

      1. Robert Moore
        Gimp

        Couple this tech with the video face replacement tech and there really isn't any good uses for this. Things were scary enough and about to get worse.

        You just know someone is already working on a video of Hillary Clinton pegging Donald Trump.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Thanks for that... pass the mind bleach please....

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    What about hand writing?

    AI generated fake voice and fake video get lots of press coverage, but I do not see much in the press about AI generated hand writing. Spokesmen for Google and Facebook said much the same thing: no point - thanks to password re-use we already have the online banking passwords for half the western world.

    I hunted down someone doing research into AI handwriting and after several pints, I got this snippet: "We do not make an effort to publicise out research because we are so well funded. We get a large number of small donations from people too lazy to check their bank statements."

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As far as I am concerned

    almost all the use cases are creepy - the genie however is out of the bottle...

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: As far as I am concerned

      almost all the use cases are creepy - the genie however is out of the bottle...

      For same gender triplets, twins etc that ship sailed the day they were born. Theres already someone that looks & sounds like them, knows all their "secret" financial info - DOB, Moms maiden name etc.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: As far as I am concerned

        "Shadow" twins have been plot points for decades.

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: As far as I am concerned

        True, but they won't have the things they actually need to use their identical twin's online banking, such as Account logins and passwords.

        Do they share the same identical fingerprints?

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Re: As far as I am concerned

          Do they share the same identical fingerprints?

          No, fingerprints are not genetic but are formed in the womb and as twins will be in different positions the print development will differ.

          1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: As far as I am concerned

            Thanks

            Have a pint

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: As far as I am concerned

      "the genie however is out of the bottle"

      celebrity impersonations already exist. I wonder if the tech could EVER compete...

      There's that one Futurama episode when the prof's young clone built a voice impersonator using his father's voice - "Good news everyone! I'm a horse's butt" (episode 'The Route of All Evil' as far as I can tell)

      And someone like Ferris Bueller could use this kind of tech to call in sick, and sound a lot more convincing.

      All of the examples of Siri and Alexa that I've heard sound like robots (and vocaloids, too, unfortunately). Watson seems less so, but still 'robotish'. you can just "tell".

      So I'd guess that impersonation tech may have the same kind of flaw for YEARS, maybe even DECADES, when "legit" tech can't even get it right. Genie out of the bottle? yeah, but he's a robot-sounding genie.

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Plausible deniability

    "Your Honour must disregard that sound clip that the police produced in court. I never said that. I believe that the police have used AI to generate a fake recording."

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: I never said that

      Backgound mains hum has already been used to authenticate when and where recordings were made. No doubt if you have the resources to record that nationwide (worldwide?) 24x7 you can fake that signature later.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plausible deniability

      > "Your Honour must disregard

      I received an email this evening from the local police warning of a spate of thefts of car number plates. The message goes on to say that criminals use these to escape speeding fines etc...

      I bet this won't stop them insisting in court that the photo shows your registration number so you must be guilty.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I mentioned the Hiscox radio ad the other day with regards to this already being done, here it is,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej4AHb1mSrs

    Obviously they may be lying as they are trying to sell insurance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fake?

      It must be totally legit. I already have Ghost protection insurance.

      /that's the joke.

  6. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Google Speech recog Still doesn't understand me.

    And no one really cares what people from my neck of the woods have to say anyway....

  7. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    The use-case mentioned about having an audiobook read with the same voice as a child's mother deserves to be filed under 'C' for 'Creepy'!

    I can't really think of any use-cases which aren't either creepy or criminal. The criminal use-cases are fantastic though. How about I receive a voicemail or even a phone call from a friend asking me to transfer him some money? Video and audio evidence is going to be worthless.

    We are going to have to introduce better technologies to prove someone is who they say they are, I suppose.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      We are going to have to introduce better technologies to prove someone is who they say they are

      Better technologies, like, you know, meet in person?

      Another use of this voice cloing is that we start to develop better authentication and verification methods. Not only for interaction directly with a system but also for communication between meat sacks over systems. I sense the sweet smell of encryption all around*!

      * also known as the control freak govemint's nightmare

      1. Long John Brass Silver badge

        voice clonig is that we start to develop better authentication and verification methods

        My voice is my passport; Verify me

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Bedtime stories...

      Why mother's voice? The bedtime story was always my (male) job. And, and... why not just record the audiobook, for crying out loud. I mean, if you're dad is Stephen Fry, for example, there's every book every written to choose from.

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Re: Bedtime stories...

        Funny that you mention Stephen Fry who, I guess, has a rather low probability of being/becoming a dad.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Bedtime stories...

          Well, he has in 2015 denied plans to adopt a child with his husband Elliott Spencer, but Elliott is young still and might want to start a family. Who knows?

          *EDIT*

          And argh! at the iPhone auto corrupt changing "your" to "you're".

          1. philnc

            Re: Bedtime stories...

            Because it has such a solid grasp on grammar... I've spend a not insignificant amount of time over the years disabling both grammar and spelling checkers created by people who should never have been passed through freshman English.

          2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: TRT

            They just have to keep trying and eventually it will happen.

            Tom Daley and Lance are expecting.

      2. this

        Re: Bedtime stories...

        I think it's highly unlikely Stephen Fry would be anyone's dad. Just saying.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      I can't really think of any use-cases which aren't either creepy or criminal.

      Sat navs. As well as choosing voice gender, it will become trivial (eventually) to choose the accent too.

      Cortana/Siri/Whoever. Replacing their accent with a favoured grandchilds will put granny at ease when using them (not todays granny, but tomorrows).

      Accent prejudice is a thing, at least according to The Economist [1], so the ability to change accent as well as language could become an important feature in AI adoption.

      1 - https://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2015/01/johnson-accents

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Replacing their accent

        No, totally creepy. Talk to some grandparents. Perhaps you might be one eventually.

        Actual AI that's actually useful and not exploitive and isn't fragile (because none of it is intelligent, it's a narrow mimic) would give AI acceptance.

    4. Simon Harris Silver badge

      "The use-case mentioned about having an audiobook read with the same voice as a child's mother deserves to be filed under 'C' for 'Creepy'!"

      How about a robot-sex-doll with the same voice as your wife? File under 'S' for 'Stepford Wives' (original version, of course).

      1. Robin Bradshaw

        How about a robot slave with the same voice as you for your wife?

        File under i'll be pottering round in the shed enjoying myself.

      2. John H Woods

        Mood killer...

        "How about a robot-sex-doll with the same voice as your wife?"

        I don't know, I just associate SWIMBO's dulcet tones with various other types of demands: principally the making, without delay, of various caffeinated and alcoholic beverages... and being constantly told to put object x (shoes, gadgets, wires) away.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        How about a robot-sex-doll with the same voice as your wife? File under 'S' for 'Stepford Wives' (original version, of course).

        Remember what happed to Henry Mudd in Star Trek. I think I'll pass on this idea.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > How about a robot-sex-doll with the same voice as your wife?

        Yeah but who'd want to buy a sex-doll that always says NO

    5. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      What dying children say

      I read soemthign recently on the 'tubes compiled from conversations with terminally-ill children, and what came out what that they wanted to have fun, they wanted to see their pets, and they wanted to have their parents read to them (obviously while they were in bed). That last really can't be delivered by a mother or father's voice reading a e-book.

      This is a special situation, of course, but I think it make the point. People have to be with people. Fake voices deliver...nothing.

    6. Mage Silver badge
      Pirate

      It's an old idea.

      I mentioned Program for a Puppet before on this site.

  8. Blergh

    The only sensible use case

    Presumably the only sensible use case is to merge this with the recent fake celebrity videos we've heard so much about. Although just how much talking was in the originals I've no idea - I don't think talking was the point of those videos.

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge

      so we can spoof

      Video, audio and fingerprints. How's the biometric security industry looking?

  9. FelixReg

    Commenters can only think of bad uses for new tech

    Sign of a civilization in decline?

    And, from a group (Reg readers) who purport to be technologically adept?

    Here's a use case I put some work in to in 1990: Language learning. Consider how nice it would be if, when you're learning a language, you heard your own voice, as you hear yourself, speaking with a native accent in the new language.

    Fellow reader, stop watching Hollywood post-apocalyptic zombie junk and channel your inner entrepreneur. You can come up with good uses for this tech.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Commenters can only think of bad uses for new tech

      "Consider how nice it would be if, when you're learning a language, you heard your own voice, as you hear yourself, speaking with a native accent in the new language."

      I suspect what you'd hear is some horrible version of (for example) franglaise.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Commenters can only think of bad uses for new tech

      Yes, we can come up with some good uses for this tech.

      But... the bad guys don't care about that. They only care about relieving us of our hard earned moolah by any means possible. It is up to us to protect ourselves from these pretty well inevitable threats to come.

      Just like only a novice developer never includes any error handling in their code.

      To Err is human, to realy foul things up needs a few million/billion computers.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Commenters can only think of bad uses for new tech

        Pretty much anyone on El Reg who has anything to do with security is a Risk Analyser by default, if it weren't in our nature we'd be doing something else (less boring) instead :)

  10. jpo234

    Get over it. Voice and images are data. Computer create and manipulate data. Nothing in digital form can really be trusted.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      If nothing in digital form can really be trusted, neither can anything in analog form, since a digital form can be used to produce an analog medium as well.

      IOW, this could be the beginning of the DTA world (since we already know it's hard to trust a face-to-face conversation with someone we've never met before).

      1. FelixReg

        DTA world?

        In other words, what does that mean?

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: DTA world?

          Don't trust anything?

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: DTA world?

            Correct. I mean, if you can't even trust your own voice and likeness, what's left anymore?

          2. FelixReg

            Re: DTA world?

            Thanks Simon.

            Solution: Blockchain. :)

  11. Winkypop Silver badge

    Ring ring...

    Hi, eh, Mum?

    You need how much money?

    I should wire it to your account.

    It's for urgent medical procedures, you say.

    OK.

    One question, explain to me again how I broke my wrist in 1968...

    <click>

    duh duh duh...

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Ring ring...

      You broke it in a bicycle accident (may not be right, but don't underestimate that the faker did the research and looked up your history, too).

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: explain to me again how I broke my wrist in 1968...

        An exceptionally aggressive wank.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: explain to me again how I broke my wrist in 1968...

          Re: explain to me again how I broke my wrist in 1968...

          An exceptionally aggressive wank.

          If your 'ole mum knew the answer to that one, I'd be even more creeped out by it than the tech.

          1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            Re: explain to me again how I broke my wrist in 1968...

            An exceptionally aggressive wank was good.

            But you, you owe me a clean and dry keyboard!

          2. TRT Silver badge

            Re: explain to me again how I broke my wrist in 1968...

            If it was 1968 when it happened, 'ole mum would be around 80 - 85 years old.

      2. Winkypop Silver badge

        Re: Ring ring...

        What research?

        I doubt my childhood medical records exist in an easily discoverable way.

        PS: I fell from the top bunk of a bed... Oh, darn it!

        PPS: Mum is 80, and quite well thank you.

        PPPS: I was 6 at the time, so things hadn't 'developed' in that department.

        PPPPS: It wasn't my wrist.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: PS: I fell from the top bunk of a bed... Oh, darn it!

          As I said, an exceptionally aggressive wank.

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Ring ring...

      Icon alt-text says it all -------------->

    3. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: Ring ring...

      "What's wrong with wolfie?"

  12. BigAndos

    Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should! Can't we put effort into useful and socially beneficial cases for AI? Like a version of Watson that actually works properly for cancer treatment?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      No, because many of these are "dual-use" like knives. They're essential implements in the kitchen, but because of how they're used, they can kill, and there's no way to separate the two. Same here; they're part and parcel.

    2. Rattus Rattus

      @BigAndos

      Emma Watson?

  13. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Combine this with DeepFake and we'll have loads of fun.

  14. Dr. G. Freeman
    Joke

    If this comes to fruition, I'm worried,

    Might come out in my voice with such phrases as

    "I'll have decaf", "Sure you can borrow my stuff" and worst of all "It's my round"

    The horror...

  15. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Terminator

    The NSA will love this. As will oppressive regimes

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Coat

      Step 1: Find a video of your political opponent speaking.

      Step 2: Change words to "Death to [INSERT DICTATOR HERE]".

      Step 3: Lock them up for the good of public security / Alternatively blackmail them for money.

      Step 4: Relax as the election ballot has only 1 name on it and you now have job security for life.

    2. Swarthy Silver badge

      The NSA will love this. As will all of the other oppressive regimes, as well.

      TFTFY.

  16. Danger Mouth
    Facepalm

    Banking security

    Haven't the banks decided that your voice is your password?

    HSBC and Santander have this in place. If this software can include the biometric markers of the voice, which in principle are just the type of inflections and patterns already being replicated, then surely this authentication method is now broken.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Banking security

      It was broken before HSBC switched to using it, as Adobe demonstrated similar technology.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Banking security

        They keep asking me if I want to enable it, I wonder if they'll ever get tired of trying?

        Oh, and when someone asks me 'why' I don't want their useless insecure twaddle and I just say 'because that is my stated preference' I wish they wouldn't get all passive-agressive/shirty and make out like I'm the one being rude! Cheeky feckers.

  17. ForthIsNotDead
    Unhappy

    The world we live in gets darker and darker every day.

    I can't help thinking that one day there will be some sort of massive technological backlash against modern technology.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: The world we live in gets darker and darker every day.

      That will probably start with us IT types first then get picked up by the masses at some point.... but it might already be too late.

  18. Gasp!

    Good-natured purposes

    “For example, a mom can easily configure an audiobook reader with her own voice to read bedtime stories for her kids when she is not available. "

    I am not sure that this is good natured, it's a step down a path that is neither healthy nor particularly ethical.

    Abrogating the care and emotional development of your children to AI is not a good natured purpose.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: Good-natured purposes

      But Teddy told me it was a good idea!

      And I always do what Teddy says.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Good-natured purposes

      "Abrogating the care and emotional development of your children to AI is not a good natured purpose."

      Unless it's NECESSARY so as to hold a job and make ends meet. Unless you want to go down the path of requiring a license to have children...

      1. Rattus Rattus

        Re: license to have children

        That's not such a bad idea, TBH. I would get behind it.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: license to have children

          But what do you do with all the "bastards" (the UNlicensed children that will inevitably still issue)? As someone else has noted, it's not like you can forcibly sterilize everyone; too many risks (and no, you can't compare us to pets; the procedure would have to be reversible).

  19. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Crazy times

    "For example, a mom can easily configure an audiobook reader with her own voice to read bedtime stories for her kids when she is not available."

    Which is nice but the societal problem is that the momes should be available for kids. And fathers, too.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With all the time-saving technology these days I think it is a shame if a mother hasn't got time to read a story to her child. There I've said it!

  21. A 15
    Holmes

    More research needed

    I guess what this points to is the need for a companion field of research of how to detect computer generated voices. Of course it is easy for a human to distinguish the real from the artificial (should we call it CGV (Computer Generated Voice?)) now. I don't know what the limit in quality will be with this particular line of research, but it seems that an honest research would be publishing how to detect it also. A commercial implementation could deliberately water mark the audio, but this will not help out for nefarious implementations.

    I'm guessing that there will be algorithmic/forensic methods for detecting this kind of manipulation, even after it is good enough to pass the human ear test.

  22. Missing Semicolon
    Mushroom

    It's already good enough

    Play those samples over a GSM or VOIP phone call, and the receipient would be none the wiser.

    Truely, the end times are upon us. While we can upgrade the security of our computers, we can't upgrade our brains.

    (icon for the post-apocolyptic future)

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: It's already good enough

      we can't upgrade our brains.

      Speak for yourself. I'm on (roughly) v117.79.3 production release of mine. I have a couple of Beta releases that are testing various thought profiles and belief systems. Alpha releases don't tend to last very long before they are stripped apart for the bits that might be useful which are then added to the next Beta release.

  23. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The Problem

    Bosses of Tech companies reading SF as tech blueprints. Why? Their lack of empathy, social responsibility and ethics/morality makes them miss the point of the stories, which isn't to sell shiny or glorify tech for sake of it, but to make social and political comments. It's only in Hollywood (and toy franchises) that it's about the gadgets.

    HHGTG was a parody, not a blueprint either!

    1. BlueTemplar
      Devil

      Re: The Problem

      Proffitsesss!

      Gollum !

  24. Lars Silver badge
    Happy

    Old news

    That technology was used to fake Trump's voice in that bus, just wait for the tweetty.

    But I am convinced it will be possible to spot the fake on a binary level because nobody will pronounce a word always the same way or at the same tempo.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Old news

      But can't that randomness be programmed in as well?

      1. I&I

        Re: Old news

        At least one Moog (synth) wizard in 1970’s added algorithmic randomness to make their “performances” feel more human.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Old news

          My old Roland SH-101 had random noise for both signal generation and modulation purposes as I remember (though that might only have been available on the MC-202 microcomposer version; been a long time since I rock'n'rolled).

  25. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Alien

    Orac

    Roj Blake: It's exactly as though Ensor were speaking.

    Orac: Surely it is obvious even to the meanest intelligence that during my development I would naturally become endowed with aspects of my creator's personality.

    Kerr Avon: The more endearing aspects by the sound of it.

    Orac: Possibly. However similarities between myself and Ensor are entirely superficial. My mental capacity is infinitely greater.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    This was the Human species

    and this, was the Human species, they had egos and thought they were unique.

    They thought they would discover more about themselves if they build AI and Robots, they explored humanness, building many variations of both technology, slowly getting better, then a segment of Humans worked out they could actually emulate existing humans, and finally replaced the species.

    The excuse was that they were all turning to Zombies anyway, looking at their monitors on phones, watches and tablets, that their life was so undermine by the greedy, such that any electrical/electronic product that produced data (and all devices did) was co-opted to serve other masters incessant desires.

    Yet the masters were so preoccupied that they did not notice they were being replaced themselves.

    Surprising to humans would be the fact that long after they had died out, Micro-organisms still exist on the Earth, they have existed for billions of years, almost everywhere on land in the planet and life that lived there even traveling thru space and back. They survived, and have mutated and adapted all without brains and intelligence.

  27. PaulR79

    Didn't Adobe do this better already?

    I seem to recall Adobe demonstrating what they referred to as Photoshop for voice (jokingly, or I thought they did) that basically did what this does but better? I know they had no finished product for it at the time but I'm surprised it's taken this long for anyone to do the same thing.

    Looked it up and it is called Adobe VoCo. The cutting and pasting part of the demo seemed like what I'd expect cutting and pasting an audio sample to sound like. It wasn't natural. The way they generated voice to say what they wanted was a lot more impressive.

    VoCo demo on YouTube

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Didn't Adobe do this better already?

      VoCo needs more training than this. The point of the article is that the amount of training needed to deal with Uncanny Valley is shrinking.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. strum Silver badge

    Mum's voice

    "Sidney! Don't do that"

  30. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    So those gits who use soundbites responded down the phone in response to cold calls to fake up acceptance of slammer services can up their game a notch and now do really crim things?

    I want this tech built into my phone so when I answer it I sound like someone famous like Arnie or That woman for The Weakest Link. That way the crims will be synthesizing a synthesized original that comes nowhere like being me.

    Bogus long distance carrier: "This is a recording of you requesting our service and accepting the terms of service"

    Me: "Can't be. That sounds like Michael Palin and as you can clearly hear for yourself, I sound like Hilda Baker".

    Bank: "Here is a voice recording of you authorising transfer of all your funds to the Bide-a-Wee Home for Indigent Hackers in Grand Cayman"

    Me: "Not possible. That voice clearly sounds like Little Jimmy Osmond and as you can clearly hear, I sound like Scooby Doo".

  31. RAM Raider

    If you give me six sentences spoken by the lips of the most honest of men, I will create something from them which will prosecute him.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      If you give me six sentences

      You're on! Your challenge: Any six lines from "Awaken" by Yes, on Going For The One.

  32. Spruance

    Hardly anybody wanted that. And, after a long career in IT, I quit. It was visible long enough, IT turns into a serious business now. Not because it is billions heavy, but ist is seriously challenged by enemies, not criminals, but enemies. We tried to cope with hardening OSes, Virus detectors, only to find, that these itself may be a primary vector to infect systems. And then we found out, that even the borders we thought being around processes, the theory relied on, weren't there. That is a catastrophy.

    Do you see anything adequate to cope with it? I see a lot of whisteling.

    In my company we tried for years a conservative approach - deny access if it is not positively known as secure. We had two layers of firewalls, always kept to the highest degree of reliability. Then things changed. EDP was now IT, and access was more important than security. So far this had no visible impact on security, but the change in attitude is foreboding. There are new flanks to be attacked which have to be watched by the same flock of people, and there are no adequate tools to detect trespasses and attacks. We lose.

  33. ma1010 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    COMING NEXT MONTH, only from Baidu

    The home atomic bomb kit, complete with plutonium, triggers and everything else you need to build your own working bomb. Be the first one in your city to blow it up!

    Thanks, guys, for the cool tech.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the fuss now?

    As soon as I started analysing voice spectrograms 15-20 years ago I realised it was only a matter of time before we'd have the capability to re-synthesise real voices. I'm not sure it really needs "artificial intelligence" - there's a lot of hype there. But with the right parameterisation, it should be possible. And as soon as I heard of banks using voice for security, I immediately thought that whatever parameterisation they're using to make a "voice print", someone else knowing the method could fake it. That's just security-by-obscurity. For any TV or radio presenter or celebrity with a huge corpus of high-quality recorded material, re-creating their voice to say anything you like should be very do-able.

    The genie is out of the bottle; it will happen.

    To be fair, what comes back out of a mobile phone is more a "re-synthesis" of the original voice, rather than a reproduction. Get over it!

  35. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Holmes

    I seem to recall both Wesley Crusher & then Data hijacking the Enterprise D, simply by emulating Picards voice.

    Trifle foolish of them not to have come up with improved security by the time Data did it, something like physical location of the comm badge, compared to where the spoken command is coming from.

    Or indeed the irony of "There's nothing more useless than a lock with a voice print" turns out to be the key in Doctor Who - The Invasion Of Time.

  36. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

    page 3, did I miss the post where someone commented that it was a good job half of society is installing automated remote upload recording devices* into their homes to generate content for this "service"?

    Ties in really nicely doesn't it.

    * Alexa, google home etc.

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