Scam calls using AI to mimic the voices of people you might know are being used to exploit unsuspecting members of the public. These calls use what’s known as generative AI, which refers to systems capable of creating text, images, or any other media such as video, based on prompts from a user.

Deepfakes have gained notoriety over the last few years with a number of high-profile incidents, such as actress Emma Watson’s likeness being used in a series of suggestive adverts that appeared on Facebook and Instagram.

There was also the widely shared – and debunked – video from 2022 in which Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to tell Ukrainians to “lay down arms”.

Now, the technology to create an audio deepfake, a realistic copy of a person’s voice, is becoming increasingly common. To create a realistic copy of someone’s voice you need data to train the algorithm. This means having lots of audio recordings of your intended target’s voice. The more examples of the person’s voice that you can feed into the algorithms, the better and more convincing the eventual copy will be.

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