Navigating the Brave New World of AI Voices: A Tale of Ethics
Picture this: It's a typical Tuesday morning, and you're cozied up with your morning cup of joe. Your favorite podcast plays in the background, hosted by the charming Tom - his voice warm and familiar as he shares tidbits about the world of tech. One day, you discover something that sends you reeling - Tom isn't human. His voice, his laugh, his endearing stumbles over words - all artificial. Programmed. He's an AI. How would you feel about that?
Welcome to the wild world of AI voices. These not-so-human voices are everywhere - from giving us directions to narrating our favorite books. But as they creep into our everyday lives, we're left grappling with some pretty heavy ethical dilemmas.
The Voices Behind the Voices
Let's start with the humans behind these voices. Here's the scoop: to create an AI voice, you need hours of voice recordings from a real person. Consent? Yes, they give it. But, imagine you're a voice actor, you've spent hours in a studio, and later find your voice in places you'd never agreed to, like adult content or politically charged videos.
This happened to Susan, a voice actor who ended up feeling exploited and violated when her voice was used without her knowing the full extent of its usage. This makes us question if consent in its current form is enough, and shouldn't we have a clearer picture of where and how our voices will be used?
Peek-a-boo! Privacy on the Line
Let's get into another sticky spot - privacy. Not too long ago, OpenAI rolled out ChatGPT, an AI that generated a voice so similar to a particular person that it caused quite a ruckus. Critics pointed out that tech like this could lead to 'audio deepfakes', an alarming thought for anyone who doesn't fancy their voice being misused without their knowledge.
AI Voices Playing Dress-up
Now, here's a scary thought. Imagine getting a call from your mom asking for help. Except, it's not your mom. It's an AI voice that's really good at playing dress-up.
This isn't science fiction - it happened to Alice, a sweet elderly lady who was conned out of her life savings by fraudsters using an AI-generated voice mimicking her son. Chilling, isn't it? This points to a very real threat of voice phishing, deepfakes, and just a general loss of trust in digital communication.