In the wake of President Biden’s call for safeguards on artificial intelligence (AI), there are growing concerns about the security risks associated with AI and voice technology. It’s now possible for AI to steal your voice and replicate it within seconds, raising alarm among lawmakers and industry leaders about the need for government intervention to protect people. While there are some benefits to this technology, it’s being introduced into society so rapidly, with voice and text, that it requires urgent action.
Mike Pappas, the CEO of Modulate AI in Somerville, acknowledges the sophistication of AI technology but also highlights the associated risks. He noted that AI can be used to replicate voices, which could be potentially dangerous if used for malicious purposes. Aleksander Madry, a computer science professor at MIT, testified before Congress about the need for government protection of Americans’ voices, much like they protect one’s name, image, and likeness. Madry also expressed concerns about the potential use of AI to con others, particularly the elderly.
However, there are also positive applications for this technology. Modulate AI has developed a voice changer to help female gamers protect themselves from harassment and bullying online. This technology allows users to transform how they sound to prevent age, gender, or ethnicity-based harassment. Additionally, the company is working on a safeguard to flag hate speech, child predators, and terror groups from using AI for the wrong reasons.
Users also have a responsibility to be aware of the risks associated with AI and voice technology. Pappas urges caution when dealing with audio recordings, stating that just like with images, one should question their credibility before trusting them. Much like society has had to learn how to navigate the internet and social media, we must now learn how to live with artificial intelligence.