I had the fortune through my professional life to follow the progress in voice syntheses. Forty years ago hearing a computer speaking was something amazing and you couldn’t have any doubt that was a synthetic voice. In forty years that voice has progressed so much that today it ay trick us into believing it is a real human voice, not a computer. It can’t get any better, can it?
As a matter of fact it turns out that voice syntheses can progress even more, now it becomes possible asking a computer to talk using a certain tone of voice and a way of speaking to mimic any desired voice/person.
This is what Modulate can do. You speak with your voice and Modulate reshape it to make it sound anyway you like. You are a guy and would like to morph your voice into one of a girl? Presto, done. Would you like your voice to be transformed into the one of last US president, Mr. Obama? No, problem. You can try it out on their website.
If you pay attention to their website you’ll see that the root of their URL is .ai. That’s no coincidence. They use Artificial Intelligence to reshape your voice, keeping a human timbre. And the results are impressive.
As they are ready to point out on their website, having the possibility to morph your voice into someone else’s may be great fun, it may even become a business tools when you want to use your voice over an ads, changing it in different ads, or even using your voice or different characters. On the other hand, this possibility opens the door to malicious usage, pretending to be someone else, to give strength, as an example, to a fake news.
Modulate is inserting a watermarking signature in their morphed voices so that it is possible to check if it is a real voice or an artificial one. Clearly, the problem is that just a few (suspicious) people will check the signature.
As technology evolves we are facing machines, not just humans, and it gets more and more difficult to tell one from the other.