Microsoft releases AI tool for photorealistic copying of faces and voices

  • November 17, 2023
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In response to criticism that Azure AI Speech was simply a ‘deepfakes creator’, Microsoft said it had implemented safeguards

Microsoft announced its latest contribution to the artificial intelligence race at its developer conference this week: software that can generate new avatars and voices or replicate the existing appearance and speech of a user – raising concerns that it could supercharge the creation of deepfakes, AI-made videos of events that didn’t happen.

Announced at Microsoft Ignite 2023, Azure AI Speech is trained with human images and allows users to input a script that can then be “read” aloud by a photorealistic avatar created with artificial intelligence. Users can either choose a preloaded Microsoft avatar or upload footage of a person whose voice and likeness they want to replicate. Microsoft said in a blog post published on Wednesday that the tool could be used to build “conversational agents, virtual assistants, chatbots and more”.

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