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    “Neural Voice Camouflage” disguises words with custom noise

    Is technology spying on you? New AI could prevent eavesdropping.

    Big Brother is listening. Businesses use Bossware to listen to their employees when they are near their computers. Several spyware apps can record phone calls. And home devices like Amazon’s Echo can record everyday conversations.

    A new technology called Neural Voice Camouflage now provides a defense. It creates custom audio sounds in the background when we speak, confusing the artificial intelligence (AI) that transcribes our recorded voices.

    The new system uses an opponent’s attack. The strategy uses machine learning, in which algorithms find patterns in data to optimize sounds so that an AI, but not humans, mistakes them for something else. Essentially, you’re using one AI to fool another.

    However, the process is not as simple as it sounds. The machine-learning AI has to process the entire sound clip before it knows how to tweak it, which doesn’t work if you want real-time camouflage. So, in the new study, the researchers taught a neural network, a machine-learning system inspired by the brain, to effectively predict the future.

    They’ve trained it on many hours of recorded speech so it can constantly process 2-second audio clips and obfuscate what’s likely to be said next. For example, if someone just said enjoy the big party, it cannot predict exactly what will be said next.

    Taking into account what has just been said, as well as the characteristics of the speaker’s voice, sounds are produced that disrupt a number of possible sentences that might follow. That includes what actually happened next; here the same speaker says, that will be cooked. To human listeners, the audio camouflage sounds like background noise and they have no trouble understanding the spoken words. But machines stumble.

    Check the Source: Science.org

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