Any technology is only as good as what people make of it. Let’s take nuclear power as an example: This was not researched and developed to cause as much damage as possible, but to generate energy for mankind. And the same applies to the generation of language by AI systems. But since you can’t hide that, we have summarized some negative examples:
1. Disinformation and Fake News
One of the most worrying examples of deepfake audio abuse is the spread of disinformation and fake news. At a time when “alternative facts” and “fake news” are already a serious problem, deepfake audio could exacerbate the situation. Imagine a convincing audio deepfake of a political figure being published, making controversial statements or revealing classified information. Such fake audio files could be used to promote political agendas, manipulate public opinion, or even influence elections. By the way, this has all happened a number of times!
2. Identity Theft and Fraud
Another serious risk of deepfake audio is identity theft. Given enough voice samples, a scammer could clone a person’s voice and use it to make fraudulent calls or bypass voice authentication systems. There have already been reports of cases where deepfake audio has been used for fraud. In one case, a CEO was tricked into transferring $243,000 after receiving a call from a scammer impersonating the voice of the parent company boss.
3. Violation of privacy and personal rights
Deepfake audio can also be used to violate the privacy and personal rights of individuals. The ability to clone a person’s voice and make them say things they never said could be used to tarnish their reputation, create embarrassment, or reveal personal information.
4. Increase in skepticism towards authentic recordings
Another potential problem with deepfake audio is that it could undermine trust in authentic audio recordings. If deepfakes become ubiquitous, people might start distrusting even authentic recordings. This could have serious implications for areas such as journalism, law and politics, where audio recordings are often used as evidence.
5. Abuse in cyberbullying and harassment
Besides, deepfake audio could also be abused in cases of cyberbullying and harassment. Criminals could clone their victims’ voices and use them to create embarrassing or harmful content. This could have serious psychological effects on victims, undermining their ability to feel safe and secure in digital spaces.
It is clear that we need both technical and legal solutions to minimize the risks of deepfake audio and to maximize the potential of this technology. This will be one of the great challenges of the coming years!