Did You Know Your Voice Can Be Cloned by Scammers?

Did You Know Your Voice Can Be Cloned by Scammers?

The development of artificial intelligence has been hailed as a breakthrough technology that can help businesses become more efficient. But is also another way scammers can defraud businesses and consumers.

To meet the threat, the Federal Trade Commission recently announced the Voice Cloning Challenge to help promote the development of ideas to protect consumers from the misuse of artificial intelligence-enabled voice cloning for fraud and other harms.

“We will use every tool to prevent harm to the public stemming from abuses of voice cloning technology,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a media release. “We want to address harms before they hit the marketplace and enforce the law when they do.”

Voice cloning technology has grown more sophisticated as text-to-speech AI technology has improved. The technology holds promise for consumers, such as medical assistance for those who may have lost their voices due to accident or illness. At the same time, the FTC has raised concerns about ways that voice cloning technology could be used to harm consumers. For example, it could make it easier for scammers to impersonate family, friends, or business executives; it could also enable fraudsters to deceive consumers by appropriating the voices of creative professionals, according to the release.

The FTC has and will continue to use its enforcement authority to target companies that misuse technology to harm consumers and competition. The new FTC effort is focused on promoting the development of breakthrough ideas aimed at preventing, monitoring, and evaluating malicious use of voice cloning technology, whether it is a product, policy, or procedure.

Challenge submissions must address at least one of several intervention points, including prevention or authentication, real-time detection or monitoring or post-use evaluation.

The FTC will accept submissions online from Jan. 2 to Jan. 12, 2024. Information on how to submit a proposal for the challenge as well as complete challenge rules can be found on the challenge website. The challenge will offer $25,000 to the winner.