Biden seeks to outlaw voice replication using artificial intelligence

Biden seeks to outlaw voice replication using artificial intelligence

During last night’s State of the Union address, US President Joe Biden expressed his desire to “ban artificial intelligence voice imitation”, but did not provide further details. The statement comes at a time when artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are becoming increasingly sophisticated, so much so that they are able to replicate the voices of real people with surprising accuracy.

President Biden’s attention to this issue appears to have been triggered by recent episodes in which automated calls were used that exploited an AI voice cloning of the President himself. These calls aimed to persuade New Hampshire voters not to vote, causing an immediate reaction from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which issued a ban on such methods.

The question raised by Biden could, however, allude to a broader and more complex problem. The entertainment world, currently faced with the challenge of AI cloning musicians, actors and comedians, will be watching the administration’s future moves with great interest. Indeed, the ability to faithfully replicate a person’s voice raises numerous ethical and legal issues, in particular relating to copyright, privacy and personal identity.

The implications of such technology are enormous. On the one hand, it offers practically unlimited creative opportunities, for example allowing content creators to generate new works even after the death of an artist. On the other hand, however, it poses serious risks in terms of disinformation and manipulation, as evidenced by the use of robocalls during elections.

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