Voice Cloning: A Unique Art of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As named by McCarthy and others at the Dartmouth Conference in 1955, seven original aspects of AI, include automatic computers, programming AI to use language, hypothetical neuron nets to be used to form concepts, measuring problem complexity, self-improvement, abstractions, and randomness/ creativity. There have been many more live examples of the different aspects of AI as time has passed but the spotlight is on voice cloning in this piece.

The idea of Voice cloning

The technology of Voice cloning is based on copying and reusing of recorded speech. It is an exhibition of Artificial Intelligence that involves the use of computer science programming to imitate the human action of speaking. Voice cloning may not be visible in the aspects of AI above but it did not start today; abstractions or programming AI to use Language have voice cloning hidden in plain sight. That artificial intelligence is adopted by virtually everyone may be surprising for some, but even more, is that as it has seeped into our daily routines from the mere use of phones. Beyond the advanced technological developments, artificial intelligence is all around in the simplest forms.

The world has gone beyond stuffed teddy bears that just mimic a simple ‘I love you’ to the owner or lady dolls that can blink and say few programmed phrases repeatedly when triggered. Now there’s Siri’s voice, or Google voice or some search engines that can answer or ask questions, give accurate responses vocally to human statements and the likes. These are just an inkling of the earliest and/or most popular forms of voice cloning. With continuous improvement in technology cloning software will be able to record voice samples, producing an infinite number of combined syllables leading to an unlimited number of sentences and will not just produce human-sounding synthetic speech, but also emit realistic voice quality with emotions, inflections and unique speaking styles.

 

 Being practical

In the ancient past, there was usually an obvious sign that a ‘non-human’ is speaking when a talking doll or Robot or toy spoke. There were very ‘robotic’ sounding examples of the human voice but in this century one can’t even tell the difference between audio by a person and or a machine whether they are both saying the same words.  These modern devices or programs have finally been able to replicate human voices for use cases like Audiobook narration, Adding a familiar voice to driving directions, Using celebrity voices for applications, Movies or animations, Personalization in video games or even Interactive training and learning. AI Companies like ispeech, lyrebird, wavenet have quickly established their different voice cloning software that offers these options and more.

After that short listen to the voice clone audio below, you would agree that any other machine can play digital chess or checkers against a human and win without sparking applause anymore, simply because talking and sounding just like a human is another ball game and a huge technological advancement deserving an ovation.

Possible misuse

Since Voice cloning imitates the vocal essence of a person and now flawlessly recreates it without the participation of the human being that provided the voice sample, one can easily be alarmed at the thought of this fascinating world wave. In that, the human voices are a big part of our identity but now your neighborhood robot can sound just like you. Without intent to castigate researchers that birthed this discovery or the discovery itself; machines are taking over something supposedly unique to each person. It is all excitement and games, tech and business progress but in a quick reality check, many people would not want to wake up to the reality of Sci-fi movie plot where Machines are taking charge of the human race.

Machines are starting to do a lot for humans; now voice clones can perform customer service jobs via chatbots, they can possibly perform scripts for a podcast, radio skits and soon enough movies. These and much more may lessen the need for human audio participation bearing in mind that some people make a living off the use of their voice. In another light, Truants may see an avenue to use voice samples without authorization for selfish ploys. For instance, phonecall engages you in speaking for a few moments, recorded audio of the conversation can be used to duplicate your voice and be used to empty bank accounts and other fraud-related crimes. There are also stories of children using this innovation to duplicate their guardians’ voices to get permission to cut classes at school.

But on the upside, the intent of this innovation was to ease some human limitation or amplify services. Many practical uses of Voice cloning abound, from enabling people with loss of speech borne from sickness or accident to speak again in their own voice from just a sample pre-recorded voice clip, to voice assistants for the visually impaired; we can say that Voice cloning is not all bad when used right. Artificial intelligence is the harbinger of many of the technological breakthroughs over the years; making life easier or contributing to one field or another and whether we like it or not Voice cloning AI is seemingly here to stay.

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Credits- Wikipedia,Laura Tucker

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