In the run-up to the 2023 general gections holding on Saturday, February 25, 2023, an expert has warned about a new kind of political attack, using cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology to clone the voices of political figures in order to score points by opponents.
The most recent example involved former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, whose voices were cloned using AI technology in an attempt to discourage voters before Saturday elections.
The viral voice recording, which purports to be Atiku making comments about INEC, has been circulating on social media in Nigeria, causing a stir among the electorate.
However, a technology expert have now come forward to debunk the recording, pointing out irregularities that proved it was a fake recording, generated using sophisticated AI software that can mimic the sound and intonation of any human voice.
The expert cited online services like www.respeecher.com and www.Resemble.ai which clone speech that is indistinguishable from the original speaker.
“Artificial intelligence is an incredible tool that has many useful applications, but it can also be used for nefarious purposes,” said Dr. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, a technology expert based in Lagos.
He added that, “In this case, someone has used A.I. to clone Atiku Abubakar’s voice and create a recording that never actually happened. We need to be vigilant and aware of these kinds of techniques, especially in the political sphere. I also hope the law enforcement authorities are getting more sophisticated in their investigations to hold those propagating these sorts of dangerous activities.”
Dr. Ekekwe went on to explain that A.I. Voice cloning technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, and it is now possible to create convincing fake recordings that are almost indistinguishable from real ones.
However, there are ways to detect fake recordings, such as analyzing the waveform and frequency of the voice, which can reveal anomalies that are characteristic of A.I.-generated speech.
As the Nigerian presidential election approaches, it is likely that we will see more instances of A.I.-generated voice cloning being used in political campaigns. However, with the help of technology experts like Dr. Ekekwe, it is possible to expose these fake recordings and prevent them from influencing the outcome of the election.
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