"that's maybe all they would need to fool someone."
Criminals are using AI to scam people, specifically audio deepfakes.
In some cases, victims receive a phone call from a distressed family member begging them to send over money.
But in reality, it was a fake voice created using artificial intelligence to carry out a scam.
For just a few pounds, you can pay several companies to produce high-quality voice clones that can be convincing enough to fool someone.
One example that went viral was when the uses of online forum 4chan replicated Emma Watson’s voice reading Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
They used a voice cloning tool Prime Voice, created by ElevenLabs.
This has concerned many experts.
First, this technology can be used for misinformation; for instance, allowing people to believe a politician made a shocking statement that they never did. Or secondly, to scam people, especially the elderly.
According to computer science experts, it does not require a lot of work.
Matthew Wright, Chair of Computer Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said:
“They don’t need very much of the voice to make a pretty good reproduction.
“You can imagine they just call them up, pretend to be a salesperson, and capture just enough of the audio to make it work.
“And that’s maybe all they would need to fool someone.”
The company used to create the Emma Watson audio deepfake has since announced that they have increased the price of their service and started manually verifying new accounts.
But experts warn legislation should be put in place to avoid such scams in the future.
Experts suggest you should be mindful of unexpected and urgent calls asking for money from your loved ones or from co-workers.
According to Matthew Wright, you should try to ask them personal questions to verify their identity.
He said: “You should try using a different source, a different channel.
“Make up an excuse and say you have to call them back. Then, call back on what you know to be their number.”
“If they’re calling and they’ve spoofed the number, they won’t receive the call back.
“But in general, just take a step back and think.
“Make sure that this makes sense, does it really make sense that your boss is asking you to buy ten $250 gift certificates? Probably not.”