Meta Unveils Voicebox, Text-to-Speech Generative AI Tool
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Voicebox, Meta’s latest innovation, is a revolutionary text-to-speech generative AI tool that transforms written text into realistic speech.
With capabilities comparable to renowned models like ChatGPT and Dall-E, Voicebox can perform various speech generation tasks, such as content editing, sampling, style conversion, noise removal, text-to-speech synthesis, and cross-lingual style transfer.
Voicebox isn’t publicly available yet.
Voicebox is Meta’s breakthrough in generative speech AI, which transforms text into realistic and expressive speech. The AI tool, which works similarly to ChatGPT or Dall-E, is an advanced AI model capable of performing speech generation tasks like content editing, sampling, and style conversion, even without specific training, thanks to in-context learning.
It sets itself apart from other text-to-speech models by excelling in various tasks such as noise removal, text-to-speech synthesis and cross-lingual style transfer, pushing the boundaries of synthetic speech generation. Voicebox also surpasses current models in speed, operating at a 20 times faster rate.
Voicebox underwent extensive training using a dataset comprising over 50,000 hours of unfiltered audio. The AI model was trained using Meta’s innovative “Flow Matching” technique, a versatile alternative to diffusion-based learning methods employed by other generative models.
Meta’s training dataset includes recorded speech and transcripts from public-domain audiobooks in multiple languages, such as English, French, Spanish, German, Polish, and Portuguese.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, Voicebox is “the first ever generative AI speech model that can do tasks it wasn’t specifically trained on.”
In the future, Voicebox and similar AI models can provide natural-sounding voices for virtual assistants and non-player characters in the metaverse. They can also enable visually impaired individuals to hear written messages in familiar voices through AI and offer creators easy tools for editing audio tracks in videos.
Voicebox and the Dangers of Deepfakes
However, Voicebox might pose some ethical and social challenges, especially in the context of deepfakes. Deepfakes, created by AI models, are synthetic media that manipulate a person’s voice, often maliciously. Voicebox could create convincing deepfakes that impersonate someone’s voice or make them say things they never said. This could have serious implications for privacy, security, and trust.
Microsoft’s president Brad Smith raised concerns last month about the harm caused by deepfakes. He emphasized the need for mechanisms to differentiate between genuine and AI-generated material, particularly in cases of malicious intent. He called for accountability and safety measures to maintain human control over critical infrastructure governed by AI systems. Furthermore, he proposed a system where developers monitor usage and provide transparency to identify manipulated videos, similar to a KYC approach.
Meta claims that it’s aware of the potential harm that Voicebox could cause and that the company is working on an effective way to distinguish between authentic speech and audio generated by Voicebox. While Voicebox is still undergoing development and not currently accessible to the public, Meta acknowledges the potential risks associated with advanced AI technology.
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