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Voice Tech Expands Horizons Amid Increasing Risks of Scams

voice tech

From the convenience of voice-activated virtual assistants to the integration of speech recognition in smartphones and smart homes, the technology landscape is increasingly shaped by individual’s ability to communicate verbally with devices. 

And recent developments by firms are pushing the boundaries of what voice technology can achieve. 

Whispp’s assistive voice technology, for instance, is opening up new avenues of communication for individuals with voice disabilities such as severe stuttering or vocal cord paralysis. The advanced voice recognition and synthesis algorithms enables users to express themselves more fluently and confidently, overcoming the limitations imposed by their condition. 

Whispp’s standout feature lies in its capability to analyze old recordings of one’s original voice to maintain a user’s distinct speaking style and accent. Additionally, users have the option to record their current voice, which the app stores as a precautionary measure against potential voice or speech difficulties in the future.

“Our big bold dream is to have Whispp’s assistive voice technology available on every smartphone and laptop worldwide to create a more inclusive world,” said Whispp Founder and CEO Joris Castermans, said in a January report by EU Startups.

Similarly, the recent partnership between Code Factory and Creoir has unveiled another promising application of voice technology in the self-service space. By integrating voice interaction capabilities into existing kiosks, drive-thrus, and POS systems, this collaboration brings forth a new era of convenience and accessibility. 

Customers can now navigate these interfaces effortlessly, whether they prefer to speak their orders or interact through traditional means. This not only streamlines operations for businesses but also enhances the overall customer experience, catering to a diverse range of preferences and needs.

Meanwhile, voice technology firm ElevenLabs has secured $80 million in Series B funding at a valuation of $1 billion earlier this year. The investment will support the launch of several new products, including a voice library marketplace where users can monetize their own voices by creating artificial intelligence (AI) versions.

“Users can create their professional AI voice replica, verify it, and share it via Voice Library,” the company’s announcement said, PYMNTS reported Jan. 22. “When others use these verified voices, the original creators receive compensation. Users always retain control over their voice’s availability and compensation terms.”

Combating Misuse of Voice Tech

Amid the surging interest and investment in voice-related ventures, concerns regarding the potential misuse of this technology for fraudulent purposes are also on the rise.

For instance, scammers could exploit voice cloning to impersonate family members, friends or business executives, tricking unsuspecting individuals and inflicting financial damage.

As Karen Postma, managing vice president of risk analytics and fraud services at PSCU, told PYMNTS last October, fraudsters utilizing generative AI “can effectively mimic a voice within three seconds of having recorded data,” indicating that they are “utilizing AI to not just commit attacks, but to become very good at committing these attacks.” 

In response to these apprehensions, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initiated the Voice Cloning Challenge last year to seek ideas aimed at preventing the misuse of the technology

Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, emphasized the agency’s commitment to taking a proactive stance in addressing potential threats, noting at the time that they “want to address harms before they hit the marketplace and enforce the law when they do.”

Companies like ElevenLabs have also affirmed their dedication to the “safe and responsible development” of AI technology, including prioritizing the development of detection tools to ensure the easy identification of AI-generated content.