Imagine someone having the ability to recreate your voice into saying whatever they want? This technology could be used for some extremely nefarious undertakings. Now imagine that the tech could not only replicate your voice saying words you’ve already been recorded saying, but could also reproduce your voice saying words you’ve never uttered once. You don’t have to imagine it because the technology is here and the first victim is Joe Rogan.
Researchers from the Canada-based AI startup Dessa have created a Joe Rogan impersonator. The artificial intelligence created a near-perfect replication of Joe’s voice and had him talk about his new chimpanzee hockey team.
“These chimps have been working out hard,” the fake Joe Rogan says. “I’ve got them on a strict diet of bone broth and elk meat. These chimps will rip your balls off.”
Sure, Joe Rogan has talked about chimpanzees extensively and may have even talked about a chimp hockey team when he was high on one of his shows. And Joe has discussed bone broth before and of course he talked about elk meat in previous episodes of the JRE podcast. However, here’s where the scary part comes in. The AI was able to say words that Joe has never used and aired them in Rogan’s distinct voice.
The AI was able to mimic Rogan reciting tongue twisters such as Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. The deep fake voices were also able to recreate Rogan talking about basilar membranes and other medical terms. On the bright side, Joe is now a doctor.
The MMA commentator, comedian and podcaster extraordinaire saw the worrisome video and responded to it on his Instagram. “At this point I’ve long ago left enough content out there that they could basically have me saying anything they want, so my position is to shrug my shoulders and shake my head in awe, and just accept it,” Rogan wrote. “The future is gonna be really f*cking weird, kids.”
On Twitter, Rogan said, “This could become a real problem. I’m flattered and honored that they chose my voice as an example to let us know that we’re f*cked.”
Dessa said, “In the next few years (or even sooner), we’ll see the technology advance to the point where only a few seconds of audio are needed to create a life-like replica of anyone’s voice on the planet.” That is terrifying.
Dessa understands the potential for evil with these recreations and posted a response. “Clearly, the societal implications for technologies like speech synthesis are massive,” Dessa said in a statement. “And the implications will affect everyone. Poor consumers and rich consumers. Enterprises and governments.”
Dessa believes the tech can be used for good, such as more realistic AI assistants or quicker and more accurate dubbing for TV and movies. Dessa won’t be releasing their voice recreation research or allow their AI tech available to the public because they understand that audio deepfakes could be used for malicious intentions.
Dessa responded to Rogan by saying, “Hey Joe, thanks for being cool about me stealing your voice.” This is so f’ing creepy.