OpenAI Holds Off on Voice Cloning Tech for Now

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ChatGPT creator OpenAI was all set to release Voice Engine, a text-to-speech AI model for creating synthetic voices based on a 15-second audio sample, but it decided to delay the launch amid some concerns about unethical misuse of the technology.

OpenAI released Voice Engine in 2022 and integrated it into ChatGPT's text-to-speech feature. The company cited Voice Engine's tremendous potential, particularly as an educational tool for reading, for translating content, and helping people with difficulties speaking on their own, but pulled back the release when fears mounted around its potential misuse.

“We are choosing to preview but not widely release this technology at this time,” the company said in a blog post while it waits for a larger "societal resilience against the challenges brought by ever more convincing generative models."

At the same time, OpenAI said it is encouraging "steps like phasing out voice-based authentication as a security measure for accessing bank accounts and other sensitive information.”

"We hope to start a dialogue on the responsible deployment of synthetic voices and how society can adapt to these new capabilities," OpenAI added.

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