Voice cloning: Where WOW meets OMG

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Have you had this experience? You hear about a remarkable innovation, but before you can finish the phrase “That’s amaz . . . .” you’ve already jumped ahead to the questions and concerns it raises. That’s how many people are responding to voice cloning – emerging technologies that let users make near-perfect reproductions of a person’s voice. It’s also the subject of You Don’t Say: An FTC Workshop on Voice Cloning Technologies, scheduled for January 28, 2020. You’ll want to check out the just-announced agenda.

Think of the benefits of voice cloning for people who have lost the ability to speak. But now consider the danger if scammers exploit the technologies by using recognizable voices to perpetrate family emergency scams (“I’m in the hospital, Grandpa, and need money ASAP”), business imposter cons (“Wire a payment to our vendor immediately”), or other forms of fraud.

You Don’t Say will convene at 12:30 PM ET with remarks from FTC Commissioner Chopra. Next on the agenda: a presentation by Dr. Patrick Traynor, the John and Mary Lou Dasburg Preeminence Chair in Engineering at the University of Florida, on the state of voice cloning technologies.

The first panel – which will feature a demonstration of voice cloning – will focus on Good and Bad Use Cases. On the second panel, academics and others will discuss the Ethics of Voice Cloning. The third panel will explore Authentication, Detection and Mitigation. Lois Greisman, Associate Director of the FTC’s Division of Marketing Practices, will present closing remarks at 4:45.

You Don’t Say is free and open to the public. Planning to attend in person? The event will convene at 12:30 PM ET on Tuesday, January 28th, at the FTC’s Constitution Center conference facility, located at 400 7th Street, S.W., in Washington, DC. Or you can watch the live webcast from a link we’ll post minutes before the start time. We’ll also live tweet from @FTC using the hashtag #voicecloningFTC.
 

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