Until recently, voice cloning—or voice banking, as it was then known—was a bespoke industry which served those at risk of losing the power of speech to cancer or surgery. Creating a synthetic copy of a voice was a lengthy and pricey process. … Not any more.
any voice—including that of a stranger—can be cloned if decent recordings are available on YouTube or elsewhere. Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, led by Nitesh Saxena, were able to use Festvox to clone voices based on only five minutes of speech retrieved online. When tested against voice-biometrics software like that used by many banks to block unauthorised access to accounts, more than 80% of the fake voices tricked the computer.
The upshot, according to George Papcun, an expert witness paid to detect faked recordings produced as evidence in court, is the emergence of a technology with “enormous potential value for disinformation”.
it is easy to imagine the mayhem that might be created in a world which makes it easy to put authentic-sounding words into the mouths of adversaries—be they colleagues or heads of state.
Source: Cloning voices: Imitating people’s speech patterns precisely could bring trouble | The Economist
See Also: Demo – Lyrebird – An API to copy the voice of anyone