The Race to Hide Your Voice
Voice recognition has boomed in recent years; what about your privacy?
Your voice reveals more about you than you realize. To the human ear, your voice can instantly give away your mood, for example—it’s easy to tell if you’re excited or upset. But machines can learn a lot more: inferring your age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, health conditions and beyond. Researchers have even been able to generate images of faces based on the information contained in individuals’ voice data.
As machines become better at understanding you through your voice, companies are cashing in. Voice recognition systems—from Siri and Alexa to those using your voice as your password—have proliferated in recent years as artificial intelligence and machine learning have unlocked the ability to understand not just what you are saying but who you are.
Big Voice may be a $20 billion industry within a few years. And as the market grows, privacy-focused researchers are increasingly searching for ways to protect people from having their voice data used against them
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