Fun-venture turning nightmarish?

Hibigibies! I ended the call wondering if I had been victimized by a prankster. Something about the caller’s voice and his words contributed to my suspicions about the former being an imposter with vested interests. How did he dupe me? What technology did he employ? Within seconds, I learnt about voice imitation software that duplicated any person’s voice from an audio file effortlessly. If this is enough to throw you off guard, your reaction to the imitation of celebrity voices with Voice Changer software Diamond is unpredictable.

Deepfakes originally experimented with and used for fun is slowly becoming creepy when the possibility of employing this technology to manipulate or control the minds of other unsuspecting individuals is becoming impossible to dismiss. The recent deep fake video demonstrates how voice, expressions, and emotions can be cloned in real time.

These audio and video cloning techniques have been used by blackmailers to extort money from people who fear losing their reputation. The extortionists do this by adding the latter’s faces to pornographic videos just as the VFX artist Chris Ume had deep-faked Tom Cruise; the video of which went viral on TikTok.

Many voice call apps such as Skype are also making the voice cloning feature available to its customers as the latter enjoys pranking friends or family with voice morphers or voice clones which changes their voice into the chosen celebrity’s voice as they speak to them. However, as this tool is used by scammers to commit frauds such as influencing the CEO of a pharmaceutical company CFO to approve a wire transfer of $200,000 dollars via voice mail and the much talked about and investigated UAE heist, we need to safeguard ourselves from these “fraud-based and harassment-focused criminals who love this technology” by increasing our awareness of detection technologies such as DARPA’s MediFor. Pabulum for consideration and reflection!

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