February 23, 2021
Synthetic Media revolutionises content creation. It allows people from all walks of life to create content in a capacity that was previously only available to a few. It is a powerful tool, but just like any tool, it can be misused.
Voice Cloning, like other deep fake technology, can be used for nefarious purposes including disinformation, defamation, information warfare as well as phone-call frauds and hacking attacks.
Any technological advancement carries its risks. Altering human perception rightfully raises ethical questions about its purpose and its effect on the fabric of any society.
Our answer is that we should not be afraid of new technologies when they are potent. Instead, we should tame them and put them to good use.
The virtuous cycle of incorporating new Synthetic Media technologies into our societies has already started. As the dangers around deep fakes grow, so does public awareness. As the realism of Synthetic Media grows, so does the ability of detection techniques to spot them. As the incidents of Synthetic Media misuse grow, so does the corresponding ability of modern legal systems to tackle wrongdoing and to strike a good balance between benefits and risks.
The legal framework around digital rights and impersonation is already solid and sufficient for most foreseeable misuses. What is different now is the scale and the accuracy at which impersonation can be made. This is a problem of scale and can be solved gracefully by solutions operating at the same scale; namely, by enabling everyone to detect synthetic content and for law enforcement to trace it’s creator.
At Altered, we have a mission to empower and democratise voice content creation. Our technologies are powerful and could be misused if they were opened to third-party, e.g. via an API. Instead, we choose to guard them behind the walls of our own platform that we fully control. This allows us to enable creativity while we reduce the risks of misuse. Further, we have codified our commitment to an ethical use of our technologies into the following Principles and Pledges: