[Ads-l] AI is being used to synthesize counterfeit voices

Stanton McCandlish smccandlish at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 16 14:04:43 EDT 2021

The "and you're not going to know", from a documentary maker, is the
immediately troubling part.  He should be taken up on the documentary
ethics panel offer.

Stanton McCandlish
McCandlish Consulting
5400 Foothill Blvd Suite B
Oakland CA 94601-5516

+1 415 234 3992


"*History*, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant,
which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly
—Ambrose Bierce, *The Devil's Dictionary* (1911)
"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat.
And some of us get to sit there with notebooks."
—George Carlin, *Archive of American Television* interview (2008)

On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 10:19 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> In recent years it has become possible to create deepfakes of
> pictures, audio, and video. Of course, doctored photos and forgeries
> of various types have existed for many years.
> The excerpt below discusses a documentary that contains an AI
> synthesized voice of a celebrity chef. The use of this type of fake
> audio complicates historical research. Authenticating quotations
> becomes more difficult.
> Date July 7, 2021
> Website: Input (BDG Bustle Digital Group)
> Article Title : An 'A.I. model' of Anthony Bourdain's voice says lines
> he never uttered in new documentary
> Subtitle: “We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later,”
> said director Morgan Neville.
> Author: Craig Wilson
> https://www.inputmag.com/culture/an-ai-model-of-anthony-bourdains-voice-says-lines-he-never-uttered-in-new-documentary
> [Begin excerpt]
> A new documentary film has harnessed artificial intelligence to
> artificially voice quotes from its subject, the late Anthony Bourdain.
> Details of the dubious decision are outlined in a piece in The New
> Yorker, and raise a heap of uncomfortable questions about whether or
> not it's ethical to put words in the mouths of the deceased, whether
> or not they penned them during their life.
> HE NEVER SAID THEM — The lines appear in filmmaker Morgan Neville’s
> new documentary, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, when an
> email from Bourdain is initially read by the recipient, but the audio
> then transitions into Bourdain’s own voice. Helen Rosner, who penned
> the story for The New Yorker, asked Neville how he was able to get the
> audio. Neville then explained how it was created.
> [Embedded excerpt from The New Yorker]
> Throughout the film, Neville and his team used stitched-together clips
> of Bourdain’s narration pulled from TV, radio, podcasts, and
> audiobooks. “But there were three quotes there I wanted his voice for
> that there were no recordings of,” Neville explained. So he got in
> touch with a software company, gave it about a dozen hours of
> recordings, and, he said, “I created an A.I. model of his voice.” In a
> world of computer simulations and deepfakes, a dead man’s voice
> speaking his own words of despair is hardly the most dystopian
> application of the technology. But the seamlessness of the effect is
> eerie. “If you watch the film, other than that line you mentioned, you
> probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the
> A.I., and you’re not going to know,” Neville said. “We can have a
> documentary-ethics panel about it later.”
> [End embedded excerpt from The New Yorker]
> [End excerpt]
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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