Voicemod, the real-time AI voice-changing app, is now letting anybody craft whatever kind of voice they want, though limited by a selection of preset baseline vocals.
The Voicemod app, first introduced last year, was a quaint program that let users modulate their vocals with AI based on a swathe of presets, such as “Morgan” to sound like professional life-narrator Morgan Freeman or “Mr. X” to seem like everybody’s (least) favourite Twitter owner if they too want to curse out advertisers. This could let users hop on voice chat and swear at both friends and strangers in a voice like Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The “Voicelab” feature now lets users generate their own AI voices. You can also edit them to add reverb, distortion, delay, or anything else to make your vocals sound robotic or alien. However, the most important setting is the “Persona” tab, which directly uses AI to convert your voice into a different person with tabs for gender, age, and pitch. There are a handful of preset personas for male, female, and androgynous-sounding vocals.
Users can upload these vocals through the “Community Voices” tab to grant access to the wider Voicemod community. The app makers would rather consider the community-created voices as a kind of homage to existing characters. In a video announcing the new feature, the company shared how users could use the tech to sound like Overwatch 2 characters Zenyatta or Road Hog.
The company has said that each of the personas is based on voice actors’ data or from existing Voicemod data (which, too, were crafted from paid VO workers). There’s no option for voice cloning, so users need to fiddle with the sliders and tabs to try and get the kind of audio they want. Sure, there are plenty of folks who have tried to make their own Darth Vader to varying degrees of success, but Voicemod said this feature “provides almost limitless variations,” so inevitably, users will want to upload their best Biden or Trump impression, even if they are limited by the tools at hand.
Users could already hop on Audacity or some other audio program to customize their voice and then insert it into Voicemod. The new update means everybody has quick and easy access to tools that could allow them to fake another’s voice in real-time. Voicemod’s terms of service note that users are “solely responsible” for the content they create and upload and that the company would rather wash its hands of any unlawful use. If a user finds content on the store page that they think is abusive, they can report it. The company has also claimed it respects take-down notices.
Voicemod is more restrictive in what voices users can create; in that way, it’s somewhat less prone to abuse than some other AI programs. The AI voice cloning app from ElevenLabs had been previously mired in controversy after users managed to deepfake celebrities and voice actors saying some pretty heinous stuff. The app now tries to verify that users are only uploading their own voicer rather than some other public figure or somebody they may know.
Still, with the advent of AI voice cloning tech, there’s a growing sense that anything you see or hear online or over the phone could be faked. The controversy with fake voices has made politics all the more hazardous, and scammers are already making good use of voice cloning tech.
The app had previously added a soundboard to bombard online friends with vuvuzelas or air horns and added “community sounds” for users to upload their own. The company had also worked to get access to some voices through official channels, like its partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery to add voices that sound like characters from Rick and Morty.
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