It turns out that a documentary filmmaker used audio cloning software to make the deceased chief. Anthony Bourdain say words he is He never spoke, receiving criticism amid ethical concerns over the use of powerful technology.
The movie “Roadrunner: A Movie About Anthony Bourdain” hits theaters Friday and mostly features previously factual footage of the beloved celebrity chef and television host touring the world. he is He died in 2018. But the director morgan neville, told The New Yorker that a piece of dialogue was created using artificial intelligence technology.
This has renewed a debate about the future of voice cloning technology, not only in entertainment, but in politics and in a rapidly growing commercial sector dedicated to transforming text into realistic-looking human speech.
“Unconfirmed audio cloning is a slippery slope,” Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of audio manufacturer Descript, said in a blog post Friday. “As soon as you enter a world where you make subjective judgments about whether certain cases are ethical or not, it won’t be long before all goes well.”
Prior to this week, much of the public discussion about such technologies focused on the creation of deep frauds that were hard to detect using simulated audio and/or video, and their potential to fuel misinformation and political conflict.
But Mason, who previously founded and runs Groupon, said in an interview that Descript has repeatedly turned down requests to bring back voice, including “people who have lost someone and are grieving.”
“Not even as much as we want to judge,” he said. “We’re just saying that you have to have some bright lines on what’s good and what’s bad.”
Sam Gregory, program director of Witness, a nonprofit working on the use of video technology for human rights, said the angry and disturbing reactions to voice cloning in the Bourdain case reflected expectations and problems with disclosure and consent. It would be appropriate to obtain consent and disclose the technology at work, he said. Instead, audiences were baffled—first by the fact of fake audio, then by the fact that the director had dismissed ethical questions—and voiced their displeasure online.
“It also touches on our fears of death and our ideas that people can take control of our digital likeness and cause us to say or do something without stopping it in any way,” Gregory said.
“God willing her we used real estate and literary agent AI technology” Neville said in a written statement. “It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I thought it was important to bring Tony’s words to life.”
Neville He also told GQ magazine: he is got your approval you are herehis widow and literary guardian. The chef’s wife, Ottavia Busia, responded to the tweet: “It certainly wasn’t me who said Tony would be cool with this.”
While tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon dominate text-to-speech research, there are now a number of startups offering voice cloning software like Descript. Uses range from talking customer service chatbots to video games and podcasting.
“We have pretty strong policies on what can be done on our platform,” said Zohaib Ahmed, founder and CEO of Resemble AI, a Toronto company that sells a custom AI sound generator service. “When creating a voice clone, approval is required regardless of who your voice is from.”
Ahmed said the rare occasions when he allowed voice cloning after his death were for academic research, including a project that worked with the voice of Winston Churchill, who died in 1965.
A more common commercial use, Ahmed said, is to edit a TV commercial recorded by real voice actors and then customize it to a region by adding a local reference. It’s also used to dub anime movies and other videos, he said, by having him sound in one language and speaking in a different language.
He compared this to past innovations in the entertainment industry, from stunt actors to green screen technology.
Human speech, recorded in mere seconds or minutes, could help teach an AI system to generate its own synthetic speech, but ensure that it achieves clarity and rhythm. Anthony BourdainThe voice probably took a lot more training, said Rupal Patel, a professor at Northeastern University who runs VocaliD, another voice-producing company focused on customer service chatbots.
“If you really want him to talk like him, you’re going to need a lot, maybe 90 minutes of good, clean data,” he said. You’re building an algorithm that learns to talk like you are here spoke.”
Neville “Will You Be My Neighbor?” by Fred Rogers He is an acclaimed documentarian who also directed his portrait. and the Oscar-winning “20 Feet From Stardom.” He began making his most recent film in 2019, more than a year after Bourdain’s death by suicide in June 2018.
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