In another step of identity erosion, Lyrebird is a start-up company based in Canada that can mimic a voice after just a minute or so of recording. Whilst disconcerting, the clip on their website "recording" Obama, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton discussing the benefits of Lyrebird is hilarious and just has so many implications in what we take for granted in audios.
The voices do sound a bit stilted but you can definitely recognise these figures saying things they didn't say.
"the Register" has an article which provides some further context on voice imitation. Audio is used as a security mechanism which is used as a login for some financial services. A voice does have a unique signature, but raising awareness that even your voice can be stolen emphasises the trend in having multi factor authentications to access your securely stored information.
So just as we are getting to grips with Phishing e-mails and identifying the threats to our e-mail communication, looks like we might be needing to get used to being a little bit more sceptical of who we appear to be listening to as well!
Ethics Lyrebird is the first company to offer a technology to reproduce the voice of someone as accurately and with as little recorded audio. Such a technology raises important societal issues that we address in the next paragraphs. Voice recordings are currently considered as strong pieces of evidence in our societies and in particular in jurisdictions of many countries. Our technology questions the validity of such evidence as it allows to easily manipulate audio recordings.