Here’s a good business idea I came up with but decided not to do. Maybe somebody else would be interested though, so I am posting it here.
You have probably heard of Deep Fakes (videos that use AI to swap one person’s face with somebody else’s face), but you may not know that there are also audio Deep Fakes. For example, you can try cloning your own voice for free at Resemble.ai.
But what about cloning other peoples’ voices? You can use one of these 2 open-source (free) programs to do that: TorToiSe and Coqui.
I own the domains VocalCloning.com and VocalClones.com (both are for sale), and I am already in the AI industry, so it seems like it would be a good business for me to set up a website on one of them offering a vocal cloning service. But there are potential legal problems with this, in that cloning a celebrity’s voice could be considered illegal (they own the legal right to their voice, same as their image). California in particular has strict laws about this. And there are also all sorts of potential cybersecurity issues. For example, in 2019, a manager at a UK company was reportedly tricked into transferring $260,000 to criminals who used a cloned copy of his German boss’s voice. There are also defamation and impersonation laws that could be broken using it.
As a service provider, I could be held liable for any illegal use of my product, so it is not a risk I want to take. But then I had an idea that seems a lot less risky. What if I created a service for salespeople where they could clone the voice of the target of their sales pitch, and only use it to sell them something? Here’s an example. Let’s say I invented AI-controlled windshield wipers (they use robotic vision to detect raindrops before they hit the windshield and then block them by proactively dispersing liquid vaporization nanotubes), and want to sell them to Elon Musk to put in Teslas. I would then leave him a voicemail or social media comment link where it would be his own voice pitching the idea to him. Or maybe to be funny I would pre-record myself pitching the idea to a fake him, and in my recording the fake him would love the product and place a huge order.
What if you got a phone call right now from somebody that sounds like you? It would get your attention, right? It would be a way for a salesperson to get their foot in the door.
I don’t think I will ever pursue his business idea, so feel free to do what you want with it.
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Can the existing services mentioned do real-time voice cloning?
Or is this more about voice cloning for recording short messages?
I have never tried either program, but as far as I know, the results would be way too slow to use in real time.
They are typically used for parodies, like having a celeb’s voice narrate your video or story. Or for example, if you wrote a book, you could clone your voice and then have the clone narrate the book, so you would not have to do it yourself.