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Vocal Terrorism Via Virtual Vocal Chords

Vocal terrorism, the result of futuristic voice technologies that could imitate trusted voices perfectly over the phone, is the concern of British scientist Dr. David Howard.

According to Dr. Howard, computerized speech can now be modeled more easily than ever, using advanced techniques that use "virtual vocal chords" to imitate trusted people over the phone.

"The reason things are changing is because no longer are we using an acoustic model proposed in the 1950s... We are beginning to simulate virtual vocal tracts in the computer," said Dr Howard. "If we get to the point where we are synthesising the actual shape of somebody('s vocal tract) based on analysis of their speech, then the speech we are producing should sound and look like the actual person."

"This gives rise to this notion of what I call vocal terrorism as a possible scenario in the future..."

As science fiction fans may recall, in Terminator 2, the bad-guy shape-shifting T1000 takes over the person of John Connor's foster mother. When John becomes suspicious during a phone conversation with her (it), the good-guy Terminator (Arnold, of course) takes over the conversation, imitating John's spoiled west coast brat voice perfectly.


(The Terminator Voice Transformation)

It's not just the British who are working on this - see USAF Seeks Voice Transformation Tech.

Via Spluch and BBC.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/15/2007)

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