Tuesday June 18, 2019
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Thanks To Artificial Intelligence, Radio Journalist Regains His Voice

The AI system slices each word read out by an individual into 100 tiny pieces

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AI scenarios present ethical issues ranging from privacy, human rights, employment or other social issues.
The AI-based system named "Philyra" can learn about perfume formulas, raw materials, historical success data and industry trends. Pixabay

A US radio journalist who had lost his voice two years ago due to a rare neurological condition has regained the ability to speak, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), the media reported.

Jamie Dupree, 54, a political radio journalist with Cox Media Group, got a new voice that trained a neural network to predict how he would talk, using samples from his old voice recordings, the BBC reported.

With his new voice, Dupree can now write a script and then use a free text-to-speech software programme called Balabolka on his laptop to turn it into an audio recording.

If a word or turn of phrase does not sound quite right in the recording, he can slow certain consonants or vowels down, or swap a word to one that does work, or change the pitch, and he can have a full radio story ready to go live in just seven minutes.

“This has saved my job and saved my family from a terrible financial unknown,” Dupree was quoted as saying to the BBC.

In 2016, Dupree was diagnosed with tongue protrusion dystonia — a rare neurological condition where the tongue pushes forward out of his mouth and his throat tightens whenever he wants to speak, making it impossible for him to say more than two or three words at a time.

artificial intelligence, brain
artificial intelligence, brain, Pixabay

Thanks to the new computer-generated voice, created for him by Scottish technology company CereProc, Dupree is set to come back on air, the report said.

The AI system slices each word read out by an individual into 100 tiny pieces, and does this with lots of common words until eventually it understands how basic phonetics work in that person’s voice and has an ordered sequence for all the pieces in each word.

Then, the neural network can create its own sounds and predict what the person would sound like if they were to say a series of words in conversation.

Also read: This Way China Can Help India In The Terms of Artificial Intelligence

“AI techniques work quite well on small constrained problems, and learning to model speech is something deep neural nets can do really well,” Chris Pidcock, CereProc’s chief technical officer and co-founder, told the BBC. (IANS)

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Adobe Built an AI To Spot Photoshopped Faces

This new research is part of a broader effort across Adobe to better detect image, video, audio and document manipulations

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Adobe, AI, Photoshopped
The decision is also intended to make image forensics understandable for everyone. Pixabay

Adobe, along with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have trained Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect facial manipulation in images edited using the Photoshop software.

At a time when deepfake visual content is getting commoner and more deceptive, the decision is also intended to make image forensics understandable for everyone.

“This new research is part of a broader effort across Adobe to better detect image, video, audio and document manipulations,” the company wrote in a blog-post on Friday.

As part of the programme, the team trained a convolutional neural network (CNN) to spot changes in images made with Photoshop’s “Face Away Liquify” feature, which was intentionally designed to change facial features like eyes and mouth.

Adobe, AI, Photoshopped
Adobe, along with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have trained Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect facial manipulation in images edited using the Photoshop software. Pixabay

On testing, it was found that while human eyes were able to judge the altered face 53 per cent of the time, the the trained neural network tool achieved results as high as 99 per cent.

The tool also identified specific areas and methods of facial warping.

Adobe’s execution in detecting facial manipulation came just days after doctored videos of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and US Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the rounds on social media as well as news channels.

“This is an important step in being able to detect certain types of image editing, and the undo capability works surprisingly well. Beyond technologies like this, the best defence will be a sophisticated public who know that content can be manipulated, often to delight them, but sometimes to mislead them as well,” said Gavin Miller, Head of Research, Adobe.

Adobe’s Photoshop software was originally released in 1990. (IANS)