Your iPhone will soon be able to replicate your voice after 15 minutes of training | CNN Business
Apple announced a series on Tuesday of new accessibility tools for iPhone and iPad, including a feature that promises to replicate a user’s voice for phone calls after just 15 minutes of training.
With an upcoming tool called Personal Voice, users will be able to read text prompts to record audio and have the technology learn their voice. Then there will be a related feature called Live Speech use “synthesized voice” to read the user’s written text aloud during phone calls, FaceTime conversations, and in-person conversations. People will also be able to save commonly used phrases to use during live chats.
The feature is one of several aimed at making Apple devices more inclusive for people with cognitive, visual, hearing and mobility disabilities. Apple said people who may have conditions where they lose their voice over time, such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), could benefit more from the tools.
“Accessibility is part of everything we do at Apple,” said Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior director of global accessibility policy and initiatives, in a company blog post. “These innovative features were designed with feedback from members of the disability community every step of the way, to support a diverse set of users and help people connect in new ways.”
Apple said the features will roll out later this year.
While these tools have the potential to fill a genuine need, they also come at a time when advances in artificial intelligence have raised alarms about the use of bad actors. convincing fake audio and video, known as “deepfakes”, to defraud or misinform the public.
In the blog post, Apple said the Personal Voice feature uses “on-device machine learning to keep user information private and secure.”
Other tech companies have experimented with using AI to replicate a voice. Last year, Amazon said it was working on an update to its Alexa system that would allow the technology to mimic any voice, even a dead family member. (Feature not released yet).
In addition to voice functions, Apple announced Assistive Access, which combines some of the most popular iOS apps, including FaceTime, Messages, Camera, Photos, Music, and Phone, into one calling app. The interface includes high-contrast buttons, large text labels, an option for an emoji-only keyboard, and the ability to record video messages for people who may prefer visual or audio communications.
Apple is also updating its Magnifier app for the visually impaired. It will now include a detection mode to help people better interact with physical objects. The update would allow someone, for example, to hold an iPhone camera in front of a microwave and move their finger across the keyboard while the app labels and announces text on the microwave’s buttons.