Ross: Am I me, or am I AI?

Jan 2, 2024, 2:30 PM

Shown here are the sound waves from the Electronic Voice. (Photo By MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle v...

Shown here are the sound waves from the Electronic Voice. (Photo By MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

(Photo By MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

One of the things I discovered over the holiday break was that – not only are there Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs that will WRITE stuff for you, but now there are AI programs that will READ that stuff aloud in YOUR OWN VOICE.

Now, for most of you, this is just a charming little novelty.

But for me – this is my replacement!

Allow me to demonstrate.

On Dec. 21, I did a commentary about the ridiculous physics of the battles in superhero movies. The commentary began as follows:

I went on to complain that the fights in superhero movies make no sense.

More Dave Ross: My problem with the Marvel Universe is about the physics

Those were my WORDS.

Except that clip you just heard – wasn’t my VOICE.

And neither is this:

That was an AI speech program that I trained using samples of my voice.

Here’s the REAL thing:

Now, I can hear the difference here in the studio – but can you hear it on the radio?

How about this part? is this the real me?

Or is this the real me?

That second one was me.

Ah, but that was only Part 1 of my experiment. I then melded two artificial minds together.

I gave ChatGPT, the AI system that can essentially hold a conversation with a user, the theme of the commentary, and had it generate its own script, which I then fed into the AI-generated voice. And to my surprise, the AI Dave didn’t just critique the superhero battles, it critiqued the sound effects:

No, I don’t know! Because that’s a sentence I never wrote and never read on the air. And I still haven’t.

But here’s the scariest part: Anybody could have done this.

The user agreement on the AI voice app says you may not mimic anyone else’s voice unless you get permission, you may not commit fraud, among other points. But it did NOT ask me for any proof of identity. And it didn’t check for any copyright restrictions.

And when it comes to politicians’ voices, they’re considered fair game under the exception for satire, provided the material being posted expresses obvious “humor or mockery.”

More Dave Ross: My problem with the Marvel Universe is about the physics

So all you have to say is, “I intended it to be funny.”

So be forewarned: Everybody with a computer now has a superpower – to instantly create and publish realistic audio of any public figure saying anything.

Just as we head into election season.

Listen to the whole commentary with Dave Ross vs. Artificial Intelligence here:

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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Ross: Am I me, or am I AI?