Microsoft Ignite 2023: Microsoft Unveils Surprising Deepfakes Creator!

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Introduction:

Microsoft Ignite 2023

Microsoft Ignite 2023: At the Microsoft Ignite 2023 event, a notable product emerged, catching many off guard. The Azure AI Speech text-to-speech avatar is a tool designed to craft a lifelike avatar of an individual and animate it to say things that were not originally spoken by the person. This unexpected feature, now available in public preview, allows users to generate videos by uploading images of a person, crafting a script, and letting Microsoft’s tool animate the avatar with a text-to-speech model.

Microsoft Ignite 2023: Versatile Applications of the Text-to-Speech Avatar

Microsoft envisions diverse applications for the text-to-speech avatar. Users can efficiently create videos for purposes such as training materials, product introductions, and customer testimonials with simple text input. Additionally, avatars can be utilized to construct conversational agents, virtual assistants, chatbots, and more. The tool supports multiple languages, and for chatbot scenarios, it can leverage advanced AI models, like OpenAI’s GPT-3.5, to respond to unexpected questions.

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Microsoft Ignite 2023: Ethical Concerns Surrounding the Avatar Tool

While the capabilities of the text-to-speech avatar are impressive, Microsoft acknowledges the potential for abuse. Similar technologies have been misused for propaganda and false news reports. To address this, Microsoft is implementing safeguards. At launch, most Azure subscribers will have access to prebuilt avatars only, with custom avatars being a “limited access” feature available by registration only and restricted to specific use cases. However, ethical questions remain, particularly regarding the use of actors’ likenesses without proper compensation or notification.

Microsoft introduces another generative AI tool at Ignite called Personal Voice, embedded within its custom neural voice service. This tool can replicate a user’s voice with just a one-minute speech sample as an audio prompt. Microsoft positions Personal Voice as a means to create personalized voice assistants, dub content into different languages, and generate unique narrations for various media.

To avoid potential legal issues, Microsoft requires users to provide “explicit consent” through a recorded statement before utilizing Personal Voice to synthesize their voices. Access to this feature is currently restricted through a registration form, and users must commit to using Personal Voice only in applications where the voice does not read user-generated or open-ended content. Microsoft emphasizes that voice model usage must remain within the application, and output must not be publishable or shareable from the application.

Unanswered Questions and Future Considerations

Despite these measures, questions remain unanswered. Microsoft has not clarified how actors might be compensated for their contributions to Personal Voice, and it is unclear if the company plans to implement watermarking technology to identify AI-generated voices more easily. The ethical implications of these emerging technologies raise concerns that warrant ongoing scrutiny.

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