Who asked for this?
Remember voicemail? Because Samsung just announced a new feature that lets users clone their voice with an AI that will respond to calls on their behalf.
The feature is called "Custom Voice Creator," and is integrated into Samsung's Bixby mobile assistant. As of right now, though, it's only available on Korean models of some of Samsung's latest flagship phones.
Here's how it works: if circumstances forbid you from speaking aloud or you're just too busy, you can hit a button labeled "Bixby text call" that pops up while your phone is ringing, type out a message explaining the pickle you're in, and have your voice clone convey the message on your behalf.
Which leaves us wondering — why not just send a text message instead?
Just how effective the feature will be remains to be seen, but if currently available voice cloning AI models are anything to go by, we won't be surprised if Samsung's own AI can produce some uncannily lifelike results.
Samsung already has another AI phone call feature called Bixby Text Call, which transcribes verbal phone calls into a back-and-forth text chat in real-time, and reads aloud written messages from the sender in a generic AI voice.
Bixby Text Call is now available in English, Samsung just announced, and combined with the Custom Voice Creator, users can now have their voice clone replace the generic one.
In other words, somebody could theoretically have an entire, overly complicated call without actually picking up the phone.
Still, the technology is currently too crude to outright replace human conversations, but it nevertheless feels like an uneasy stepping stone towards phone calls being taken over by AI versions of ourselves.
We've already seen how easily voice cloning technology can be abused, so putting its powerful capabilities directly in the hands of anyone with a Samsung and plugging it straight into phone calls is a questionable idea, to say the least.
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