News on January 10: Microsoft recently released an artificial intelligence tool called VALL-E, which can imitate human speech with only 3 seconds of audio.
The tool is trained on 60,000 hours of English speech data and uses 3-second clips of specific speech to generate content. Unlike many current AI tools, VALL-E can replicate a speaker’s mood and tone, even words that the speaker himself has never said.
We learned that a paper from Cornell University used VALL-E to synthesize several sounds, and you can listen to these AI-synthesized audios on GitHub.
In many cases, Vall-E outperforms current text-to-speech models, the researchers noted. However, the study also writes that there are currently several problems with the AI model. For example, some words in the text hints may be unpronounced, missed entirely, or appear twice in the output. Additionally, the model currently has difficulty imitating certain voices, especially those with accents.
Like other new AI technologies, VALL-E has raised concerns about safety and ethics. Microsoft has issued an ethics statement regarding the use of VALL-E, but there is no clear indication of future uses.
Currently, Microsoft Vall-E is not yet open source. Microsoft has created a Vall-E repository on GitHub, but currently only contains a description file.
So guys what do you think? In the world of future DeepFakes might become extremely rampant and a huge problem. An AI voice generator like VALL-E might just be the tool someone could use to put words into someone’s mouth which never existed in the first place! Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Microsoft’s other forays into AI
Recently seizing the opportunity of ChatGPT’s popularity, Microsoft also plans to invest $10 billion in its developers.
People familiar with the matter said that Microsoft is in talks to invest $10 billion in OpenAI, the developer of the popular Chatbot ChatGPT. Since its launch last month, ChatGPT has thrilled casual users and AI experts alike. Microsoft has previously invested $1 billion in OpenAI.
The funding, which will also include other venture capital firms, will value OpenAI at $29 billion after including new investments, according to people familiar with the matter. It’s unclear if the deal has been finalized, but documents that OpenAI sent potential investors in recent weeks outlining its terms show that the funding deal aims to close by the end of 2022.
Microsoft’s capital injection will be part of the complex deal. Microsoft will receive 75 per cent of OpenAI’s profits before recovering its investment. It’s unclear whether the money OpenAI spent on Microsoft’s cloud computing unit would count toward Microsoft’s profits.
After Microsoft recoups its investment, the deal will revert to a structure that reflects OpenAI’s ownership, with Microsoft owning 49 per cent, other investors another 49 per cent, and OpenAI’s non-profit parent company getting 2 per cent. Each investor has a different profit ceiling, which is not common in venture capital. Venture capitalists are often looking for 20 or 30 times returns.
Specific terms and investment amounts are subject to change and the deal may fall apart. For OpenAI, $29 billion is a high valuation, after all, the company has not found its own business model, and $10 billion is a high investment for Microsoft shareholders.
Last week it was reported that OpenAI would allow its employees and early investors to sell their shares at a valuation of $29 billion. Microsoft is said to be ready to integrate the artificial intelligence technology behind ChatGPT into Bing search and Office suite. (Skynet anyone? xD)
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