Sometimes it seems like our leaders are just robots, spitting out whatever they’ve been programmed to say even if it bears no relation to reality. Now, it seems, “robot” isn’t just a handy metaphor. Now you can make any world leader say anything you want, completely artificially.
[Lyrebird] says its API will let you synthesize speech in anyone’s voice from just a minute-long recording – which means you could, for instance, generate a clip of President Trump declaring war on Canada…
The company says that it doesn’t require the speaker to say the words that you’ll use the voice to speak in the audio you generate, and it’ll also be able to create different intonations.
Here are a couple of samples:
It doesn’t sound exactly like the real thing, but it’s pretty damn close. And the technology can only improve.
This will be a boon to the people who create and disseminate fake news. (Other than yours truly, of course!) These days they make up stories like “Obama Flicks Lit Cigarette at Homeless Veteran in Front of the Secret Service,” and soon they’ll be able to synthesize audio of him sneering, “Do I look like a guy who carries around spare change?” And the people who want to believe it will have another reason to believe it.
Combine this with advances in CGI, and soon you’ll be able to generate convincing images and sound of anybody you want, doing and saying whatever you want. Looking for footage of Hillary Clinton and John Podesta organizing their child-slavery ring out of a pizza joint? Need some bombshell evidence to prove that Putin and Trump colluded to hack all the voting machines? Do it yourself!
It’s already tough enough to figure out which news is real and which is fake. People are already giving up caring. Once we can no longer even trust the evidence of our own senses…