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Deepfake technology has taken significant strides in recent years. Alongside video deepfakes, audio deepfakes or voice cloning is a rapidly advancing field...

Deepfake technology has taken significant strides in recent years. Alongside video deepfakes, audio deepfakes or voice cloning is a rapidly advancing field that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms.

What is a Deepfake? What is Voice Cloning?

Deepfake refers to a synthetic media where a person's likeness is replaced with someone else's, creating convincing fake audio or video clips. On the other hand, voice cloning involves creating a high-quality replica of a human voice using a text-to-speech (TTS) system. Both techniques use deep learning, a subset of AI, which mimics the workings of the human brain in processing data for decision making.

The Possibility of Deepfaking Audio and Voice Cloning

It is indeed possible to deepfake audio or clone voices. These systems utilize machine learning algorithms to analyze vast datasets of voice recordings. Once trained, the algorithms can generate voice audio that matches the input voice's tone, pitch, and mannerisms. This process is also known as speech synthesis.

Creating Audio Deepfake and Voice Cloning

Creating an audio deepfake involves three steps: data collection, training, and generation. Firstly, the system needs a large volume of audio samples of the targeted voice. The more data the system has, the better the results. Secondly, the audio samples are used to train a deep learning model. Lastly, the model generates new audio that resembles the targeted voice. Open-source platforms on Github provide various resources for these operations.

Voice Cloning vs Deepfaking

While both voice cloning and deepfaking employ similar learning algorithms, they serve different purposes. Voice cloning typically has practical applications like generating voiceovers for podcasts, audiobooks, or aiding people with speech impairments. Deepfakes, however, are often used to create convincing fake audio for potentially harmful purposes.

Spotting Audio Deepfakes and Voice Clones

Spotting audio deepfakes or voice clones can be challenging due to the high-quality generated voice. However, certain signs may give them away. One is unnatural intonations or rhythms in the speech. Another is odd background noises. Embedding metrics in deep learning models aids in real-time audio deepfake detection. Several companies and researchers have developed methods for detecting deepfakes, leveraging machine learning to spot subtle differences that humans may overlook.

Legal Aspects of Deepfakes

The legality of deepfakes varies globally. In some places, it's illegal to create deepfakes intended for scams, misinformation, or to cause harm. New York, for example, has introduced laws against digital impersonation. However, the line can be blurry, and current legislation often struggles to keep up with the rapid technology advancements.

Benefits of Voice Cloning and Implications of Deepfakes

While deepfakes can pose threats, especially when used to create fake audio for phone calls or social media posts, voice cloning can have numerous benefits. These include creating voiceovers, aiding in transcription, or generating synthetic voices for AI systems.

The flipside, however, is the potential for misuse. With a well-executed audio deepfake, malicious actors could convincingly impersonate individuals over the phone or in video conferences, potentially leading to scams and spreading misinformation.

Top 9 Software or Apps for Audio Deepfakes and Voice Cloning

  1. Speechify Voice Cloning: Speechify voice cloning is the best you will find. It clones your voice instantly. Simply press record in your browser and speak for 30 seconds. Speechify AI will instantly clone your voice.
  2. Resemble AI: Offers custom AI voice creation service.
  3. Descript: Provides a powerful audio editing suite with a deepfake voice generator.
  4. Lyrebird: An AI research division of Descript, specializing in voice synthesis.
  5. iSpeech: Offers high-quality TTS and voice cloning services.
  6. CereProc: Specializes in creating unique, AI-generated voices.
  7. Real-Time Voice Cloning: An open-source project on Github that clones voices in real-time.
  8. Azure Cognitive Services: Provides speech services from Microsoft, including TTS and voice conversion.
  9. Voicery: Creates natural-sounding, synthetic voices for use in various applications.

Each of these services offers different features, pricing, and quality, so it’s essential to review each one based on your specific needs.

As AI continues to advance, we are likely to see an increase in the prevalence of audio deepfakes and voice cloning. Understanding this technology, its potential benefits, and the implications it can have on society is essential in our increasingly digital world.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.