Connect with us

Entertainment

OpenAI’s Johansson gaffe pushes voice cloning into spotlight

OpenAI’s Johansson gaffe pushes voice cloning into spotlight

Published

on

OpenAI's Johansson gaffe pushes voice cloning into spotlight

OpenAI was forced to apologise to actor Scarlett Johansson last week for using her voice –- or something very similar –- on its latest chatbot, throwing the spotlight on to voice-cloning tech.

Although OpenAI denied the voice they used was Johansson’s, their case was not helped by CEO Sam Altman flagging the new model with a one-word message on social media — “Her”.

Johansson voiced an AI character in the film “Her”, which Altman has previously said is his favourite film about the technology. Right from the start, AI voice cloning has proved problematic.

Last year, British firm Elevenlabs went viral for all the wrong reasons when it released its voice-cloning software.

Advertisement

Internet pranksters immediately began pushing out deepfaked celebrities — Harry Potter star Emma Watson was shown reading Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Law enforcement warned that AI clones could be used to extort money from loved ones over the phone.

The technology has developed rapidly in the past year becoming far more realistic and nuanced. Danish entrepreneur Victor Riparbelli, CEO of British AI firm Synthesia, told AFP it was largely down to a program called Tortoise that was released two years ago.

The program’s developers threw thousands of hours of voice data into their model in an unstructured way and discovered it not only learnt what to say but how to say it.

“That was a pretty big paradigm shift,” Riparbelli said on the sidelines of last week’s VivaTech conference in Paris. Tortoise was an open source program and Elevenlabs was the first to go to market using it. OpenAI uses similar systems though they do not release any details.

‘Not very good’

Advertisement

Much of the controversy around voice cloning has focused on concerns over people misusing the software. But the claim against OpenAI is unusual because it is the company itself accused of playing fast and loose.

“It was very unfortunate that OpenAI did that — really not very good,” Katya Laine, CEO of TALKR.ai, told AFP at VivaTech. “If they actually cloned her voice without her knowing then I think that’s very very bad,” said Riparbelli.

The two entrepreneurs are among hundreds harnessing AI voice programs for uses that they argue will make companies more efficient. Laine’s firm provides virtual voice assistants — essentially AI customer service agents.

She said her firm’s system could now resolve 25 to 30 percent of calls without any human involvement. Synthesia specialises in video avatars, which Riparbelli said allowed any office worker to turn text or slides into a video performed by a realistic AI.

Both Riparbelli and Laine allow their clients to use their own avatars, off-the-shelf products or those supplied by the likes of OpenAI and Elevenlabs.

Advertisement

Riparbelli said Synthesia used actors whose likenesses and voices were licensed for two years with an option to renew after the initial period. The problems arise if actors’ voices are used without their consent.

‘Odd precedent’

The fiasco overshadowed a developer conference in Paris last week when OpenAI was showing off a suite of new tools. In front of a big screen in an auditorium, Romain Huet, OpenAI’s Head of Developer Experience, breezily chatted into his phone.

Seconds later, his short voice sample had been processed and could be heard commentating over a generated video — in five languages.

The demonstration showed how quickly the field is moving, but the headlines had already been written.

Advertisement

The Washington Post asked in a newsletter “How dumb is OpenAI?”, other commentators were suggesting wunderkind Altman was nothing more than a huckster.

Nonetheless, Riparbelli was open to OpenAI’s argument that they had used another actor who just sounded liked Johansson. “If it’s not her but someone who sounds a lot like her… where do you draw that line,” Riparbelli asked.

“If they’re not allowed to use someone who sounds a lot like her, then it sets a very odd precedent.” 

Advertisement

Entertainment

Noor Xarmina crowned Miss Universe Pakistan 2024

Noor Xarmina crowned Miss Universe Pakistan 2024

Published

on

By

Noor Xarmina crowned Miss Universe Pakistan 2024

Noor Xarmina from Islamabad has been crowned Miss Universe Pakistan 2024 and will represent Pakistan at the 73rd Miss Universe competition in Mexico this November.

Noor’s diverse upbringing across nine different countries shaped her global perspective.

She studied biology and business and worked as a venture capital investor in London before pursuing a career in acting and modeling.

In her free time, she enjoys running for mental clarity. Noor aims to increase Pakistani representation in the international entertainment industry. The first runner-up is Nimra Jacob.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Shaheera Jalil joins star cast of Selahaddin Eyyubi Season 2

Shaheera Jalil joins star cast of Selahaddin Eyyubi Season 2

Published

on

By

Shaheera Jalil joins star cast of Selahaddin Eyyubi Season 2

The makers have reportedly “confirmed” that Shaheera Jalil Albasit, who is known for her role in drama series Razia, has now joined the star cast in Season 2 of the mega project Selahaddin Eyyubi.

Earlier in November last year, Shaheera appeared on Amna Isani’s Haute Talk, where she shared some inside information about the auditions for the Selahaddin Eyyubi series.

Shaheera explained, “In 2021, I auditioned for the Pakistan-Turkey joint venture Selahaddin Eyyubi. It was a formal process; I applied, received a call, and traveled to Karachi. I was thrilled and surprised to see amazing actors like Ushna Shah and Ayesha Omar there.

The auditions were conducted by the Turkish team. I was selected out of 60 people, which was a significant achievement. Standing next to actors like Humayun Saeed felt like a milestone. After being selected, I thought I was set with a role in a Turkish drama.

Advertisement

The drama has since been completed, but none of us are in it. They selected

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Khalilur Rehman released after abduction, police register case

Khalilur Rehman released after abduction, police register case

Published

on

By

Khalilur Rehman released after abduction, police register case

The Lahore police on Sunday registered a case on the complaint of eminent writer Khalilur Rehman Qamar that he was kidnapped and tortured.

Qamar is a famous writer and has given the industry some major hits. He is also known to have some controversial views on a variety of subjects.

According to the details, a woman named Amina had called Qamar to her house saying she wanted to make a drama and when he reached the woman’s house, the armed men kidnapped him.

The Payare Afzal writer had to give a huge sum of money to the kidnappers for his release.

Advertisement

Later the Sundar police registered a case of the incident based on his statement.

In the FIR, it is mentioned that the accused kept on torturing Qamar and kept moving him to different places, the accused threatened to kill him and asked him to request for more money from his relatives.

It was further stated in the FIR that the accused had transferred Rs250, 000 from Qamar’s mobile phone and also took his watch, cash and ATM card.
 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN