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The Future of Artificial Intelligence Voice Cloning

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Voice cloning using artificial intelligence is both tedious and mysteriously simple. It is an emerging technology to replace the robotic sound of virtual assistants with natural human voices. Interestingly, voice cloning can render unique human agents to create more engaging media content. So if you are a podcaster, a filmmaker, or a game developer, this article is for you.

How Do Artificial Intelligence Powered Voice Cloning Works? 

Voice cloning software is the speech counterpart of video deepfake. Using a short recorded speech, developers can create an audio data set and train an AI voice model that can read any text from the target voice. First, the speaker should talk into a microphone for 30 minutes or so, reading a script as clearly as he can. The AI voice clone works by sending off the resulting audio file into the software. Then, anything typed into a chat box will be spoken back as the AI voice clone. The result is realistic to deceive even friends and family – at least for a few moments. It is worthy to note that this technology was not created to commit fraud or deceive other people. 

Voice cloning technology has rapidly improved in recent years due to innovations in machine learning. Before, the real-time synthetic voices were created by recording audio of voice talent, slicing up their speech into component sounds, and putting these back together into a ransom note effect. Now, neural networks can be trained using random target voice data to generate raw audio from the person speaking from scratch. The results are faster, dynamic, and more realistic than the previous method. Well, the quality is not yet perfect when it comes out from the machine. Through manual editing and improving, it is possible to improve in the future.

Several start-ups are offering this particular service. Just ask Google to help you, type “AI voice synthesis” or “AI voice deepfakes” on the search bar, and voila, you will learn how standard the technology is. Companies that focus on speech synthesis include Resemble.AI, Respeecher,, Veritone, and  Descript.

Resemble.AI 

Based in Canada, Resemble.AI develops custom voices using proprietary deep learning models that create realistic speech synthesis. According to Crunchbase, the firm has raised $4 million in funding over three seed rounds. Eight investors fund this, including Spacecadet Ventures and Betaworks.

Respeecher

Friends and colleagues Alex Serdiuk, Dmytro Bielievtsov, and Grant Reaber established Reespecher in February 2018. They use artificial intelligence for speech synthesis to help filmmakers, TV producers, game developers, advertisers, podcasters, and other content creators create innovative content.

In March 2020, Ukraine-based Respeecher received a total of $1.5 million in start-up funding from ffVenture Capital, Acrobat or Ventures, ICU Ventures, Network VC, and several angel investors.

Veritone

Veritone, Inc. was established by Chad and Ryan Steelberg in 2014 to help everyone use the ability of artificial intelligence to reimagine things. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, USA, Veritone is a leader in AI technology and solutions. The company’s proprietary operating system, aiWARE, expands machine learning models to transform audio, video, and other data sets into information that a company can gain a competitive edge.

Descript

Descript uses artificial intelligence for building a platform for making audio and video as fast and easy as Google Docs. Their software is famous for podcasting, video editing, screen recording, and transcription.

The Controversial Audio DeepFake in Anthony Bourdain Documentary

The most realistic AI-generated voice clone of MMA commentator-turned-podcaster Joe Rogan surfaced in May 2019. In July 2021, there were few lines of dialogues in Anthony Bourdain’s voice that he might have ever said. Viewers heard it in a documentary, Roadrunner, featuring the life and tragic death of the American celebrity chef. The buzz-worthy issue sparked when the film’s creators revealed that they used artificial intelligence to re-create the late chef’s voice. 

Also, they used the software to synthesize the sound of the three quotes from Anthony Bourdain. The celebrity’s deepfaked voice was discovered when The New Yorker correspondent Helen Rosner asked how the award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville got a copy of Bourdain’s voice reading an email he had sent of one of his friends.

Then, in August 2021, the start-up Sonantic announced that they had created an AI voice clone of actor Val Kilmer. Kilmer’s voice was damaged in 2014 after undergoing surgery as part of his treatment for throat cancer.

These examples also illustrate some of the social and ethical aspects of this technology. Many consider the Bourdain case exploitative, whereas the Kilmer case has been lauded by many for using the technology to deliver a practical solution. 

In the next few years, influencers and other celebrities could rent their voices to companies, all thanks to artificial intelligence

Voice clones using celebrities as original speakers are likely to be the most remarkable applications in the future. Companies or organizations hoping to become famous and profitable might tap the stars by cloning and renting out their voices. To cite an example, Veritone launched such services earlier this year. The firm announced that they would let influencers, actors, and athletes license their AI voices for future advertisements without going into a studio or filming locations.

This kind of application is not yet prevalent, but there’s a possibility that it would be another way for celebrities to make money. For instance, Hollywood actor Bruce Willis has already licensed his image as a visual deepfake for a mobile phone in Russia. The project allows him to earn without leaving his house. It’s a win-win situation because the advertising agency would get a famous actor and even a much younger version of Willis for their commercials. Therefore, audio and visual clones further economic growth among celebrities, enabling them to capitalize on their popularity.

What About Others?

But, what does this technology mean for ordinary people? For those of us who are not as famous as celebrities and influencers? Well, it depends on the applications or uses of the technology. It is easy to understand a video game wherein the character creation features an option to create a voice clone. For gaming fans, it means a more interactive and engaging play. In other situations, there might be an application that allows parents to copy their voices to read bedtime stories to their young children even when they are not at home. These solutions are possible in today’s evolving technology.

However, there are also disadvantages. Fraudsters or scammers could exploit voice clones to trick companies and individuals into transferring money into their accounts. For teenagers, there is a potential danger of recording a peer’s voice, cloning them, and badmouthing a teacher or anyone from the campus. Moreover, using the technology for nonconsensual pornography poses one of the biggest threats.

Above all these, anyone could allow themselves to be subject to an AI voice clone. Thus, the formulation of guidelines and clear-cut policies will help minimize the dangers of this emerging technology.

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Technology

A Future Without Passwords: A Forecast From Tech Experts

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person looking at a smartphone

Creating many complicated passwords to deter cyber-criminals from a dozen online accounts can be burdensome. While managing it is quite a chore since the number of data breaches is alarming. It is exciting to dream about the future where nobody has to worry about online password management. It’s a future that should require constant effort to change online passwords to avoid hackers and keep your data safe. 

Here’s the good news. The biggest names in technology say that the dream of a password-less internet is close to becoming a reality. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are among those trying to achieve it. You would still have to prove your identity to log in to your accounts in the future. But at least you wouldn’t have to memorize endless strings of unique eight-character (or longer) passwords. The answer is still pretty complicated. 

What Online Password Management Method Already Exists?

Removing passwords from your cybersecurity equation disregards what former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has called “the weakest link in cybersecurity.” According to Verizon, over 80% of data breaches were due to weak or compromised passwords.

Online Password Management: Microsoft

In September 2021, Microsoft announced that its users could go entirely password-less to access their Windows, Microsoft 365, and Xbox services. Instead, users can use options like the Windows Hello or Microsoft Authenticator apps, which allow fingerprints or facial recognition tools to log in securely.

In addition, Microsoft allows users to log in using a verification code sent to their phone or email. Physically, you can also do it via a security key —similar to a USB drive — that plugs into your computer and features encryption unique to you and your device.

“In recent years, tools like two-factor authentication have helped improve users’ account security.But hackers can still find ways to violate those security measures. As long as passwords are still part of the equation, they are vulnerable. “- Joy Chik, Microsoft’s Vice President of Identity.

Google

In addition, Google sells physical security keys, and its Smart Lock app enables you to tap a button on your Android or iOS device to log into your Google account on the web. In May 2021, the firm announced these tools were part of Google’s projects to create a future where you won’t need a password.

Likewise, Apple’s devices have been using Touch ID and Face ID features for several years. The tech firm is also developing its Passkeys feature to allow you to use those same fingerprints or facial recognition tools to create password-less logins for apps and accounts on your iOS devices.

So, in a way, password-less online password management is slowly becoming a reality. Microsoft says “nearly 100%” of its employees use password-less options to log into their corporate accounts. But getting every company to offer password-less options to employees and customers will surely take some time. It might be a long journey before everyone feels secure enough to dump passwords in favor of something new.

How Secure Are They?

Removing passwords altogether is not totally safe. First, verification codes sent via email or text messages can be intercepted by hackers. Hackers have shown the ability to trick fingerprint and facial recognition systems, sometimes by stealing your biometric data. And it’s much harder to change your face or fingerprints.

Second, some of today’s password-less options still ask you to create a PIN or security questions to back up your account. That’s not much different from having a password. In short, tech companies haven’t yet perfected the technology.

And lastly, there’s an issue of widespread adoption. As Wired said last year, most password-less features require you to own a smartphone or some other type of relatively new device. And while the great majority of Americans do own a smartphone, those devices range dramatically in terms of age and internal hardware.

Also, tech companies still need to make online accounts accessible across several platforms, not just on smartphones. The same goes for the people who don’t own smartphones, which is approximately 15% of the US population. 

So, it will likely still be some time before enjoying hassle-free online password management. For now, continue typing and remembering your long, complex strings of characters into login boxes.

And for other tech news, read more here!

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The 8 Sexiest SaaS Companies of 2022 (So Far…)

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Did someone say, Sexy as a Service? No? Too bad. Because here at Owners’ Magazine, we think SaaS are some of the sexiest services out there right now. The deeper society dives into the online world, the hotter SaaS gets. You can think of SaaS as a new kind of infrastructure, like roads and power, but on the internet. 

Companies that are developing their own SaaS technology are building our future one digital brick at a time. To celebrate some of these companies, here is our list of the 8 Sexiest SaaS Companies of 2022. 

So far… 😉

ProtonVPN

Nothing is sexier than quality VPN. This VPN service was founded in 2016 by the Swiss company Proton Technologies (the company behind ProtonMail). They tout a heightened focus on security, a free, no-ad version of their VPN, and a much faster speed as differentiators. In a September 2019 TechRadar review:

ProtonVPN’s network is small, and we had some performance issues during testing. Still, speeds are generally better than average, the apps are well-designed and we have to applaud any genuine VPN which offers a free, unlimited bandwidth plan.” 

ProtonVPN currently has 1,529 servers in 61 countries. They are available for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. 

Linktree

You know what’s not sexy? Not having all of your social media links in one place. Thanks to Linktree, that’s no longer an annoyance. This freemium social media reference landing page was inspired by that very annoyance. It was reportedly created in six hours and had 3,000 users overnight. 

In 2019, Linktree was included on CNBC’s ‘Upstart 100’ list of “brightest, most intriguing, young startups promising to become the great companies of tomorrow.” 

Printify

You ever have a sexy tshirt idea but don’t know where you can get it printed? Worry no more. Printify, founded in 2015, is a freemium printing platform for artists, entrepreneurs, and more who need to produce their designs on any material – apparel, wall art, home decor, accessories, tshirts, even tablecloths. 

Tablecloths? That’s ridiculous. Sign me up. 

Tripactions

Sexy as it is, traveling is a real pain in the ass, no? Tripactions is a software-based solution to those ever-so-troublesome travel management issues. It’s a cloud-based, one-stop-shop for business travel that allows companies to book hotels, flights, and accommodations with zero hassle. 

Book trips, file receipts, modify reservations, track travel itineraries, chat with travel support agents, and reconcile expenses. Only thing that’s missing is a selfie for the haters. 

Shapr3D

The feeling of designing the perfect design is one of the sexiest feelings out there. Shapr3D is a modeling app for iPad Pro that’s way hotter than the competition. It’s a free app – all modeling tools are included within the app itself. It’s perfect for engineers, industrial designers, jewelry makers, 3D hobbyists, architects, and doodlers regardless of their experience in design. 

The Computer-aided design (CAD) industry is expected to blow up in the next few years. So, might want to hop on the Shapr3D train. 

Lokalise

If you want your work team to be at their sexiest, you might want to get ahold of Lokalise. This cloud-based localization and translation management system was designed primarily “for tech-driven teams managing iOS, Android apps, web, games, IoT or digital content, and software in general.

Lokalise is recognized for its “web-based collaborative editor, cross-platform projects and localization options, and plugins.” This hot little app streamlines the translation and localization process and collaboration among developers, designers, translators, and project managers.

Hopin

Zoom may be overdoing it, but Hopin is making video teleconferencing sexy again. Hopin has hosted over 80K events, working with organizers like United Nations, NATO, and Unilever. 

There are customizable rooms and user experiences. That means that hosts can create a number of creative programming. You can hop from room to room like one would at a live exposition. 

Not only that, but hosts will have access to a full suite of analytics to understand which events worked and which did not. 

Recorded Future

You can’t get much sexier than some serious security, right? Recorded Future is an intelligence platform designed to provide active recommendations around security. They specialize in the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of threat intelligence. 

By using their special patented machine learning and natural language processing methods to continuously collect and organize data from open web, dark web, and technical sources. These are the security kids you want on your side. 

What do you think are the sexiest SaaS companies of 2022? Is there anyone we didn’t include that you think you should have? Comment below and tell who you think should be included in our list of the Sexiest SaaS Companies of 2022.

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Understanding the Concept and Future of Web3 Domains

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illustration of robots

What are Web3 domains? How is it different from DNS? Web3 domain name systems are unconnected from traditional domain name systems (DNS) like ownersmag.com or penji.co. Instead of providing a human-readable set of characters as a substitute for an IP address, a Web3 domain is a human-readable address that represents your cryptocurrency wallet. 

What are Web3 domains?

cryptocurrency symbols

Web3 domains differ from standard DNS addresses. Since DNS is like a telephone directory, it only indexes public websites, and their accompanying internet protocol (IP) addresses to enable the directory. 

Thenewslack.crypto is the effect of a 42-character hex string. In Web3 blockchain domain names, a person can remember a shorter phrase. Web3 is the next generation of the web’s legal, technical and monetary architecture. It includes smart contracts, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. In addition, Web3 projects fall into several categories like digital services, decentralized finance or Defi, and collectibles. 

These Web3 domain names are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that may be traded on platforms like Solsea or OpenSea. Further, Web3 domains have Web3 domain extensions like .crypto, .dao and .eth. 

The power of a Web3 domain name is straightforward. For example, “Send the salary to bob.eth,” instead of saying some hard-to-remember 42-character crypto wallet address, is easier for the sender to remember. 

What is an ENS?

dns and ens comparison graphs

The primary function of the Ethereum name service (ENS) is to convert machine-readable descriptors such as Ethereum addresses to human-readable identifiers. The web started as a decentralized system based on DNS. With DNS, nobody can buy, own and manage their domain name and move it from one host to another as needed, But how does a decentralized Web3 name service work?

The community has been very much interested in ENS. The Ethereum Name Service is a Web3 blockchain system that helps users establish their own unique and easy-to-remember usernames. So, ENS intends to provide a complementary solution to DNS by utilizing Ethereum smart contracts to govern domain name registration and resolution. 

A user can provide a single name to all of your wallet addresses and decentralized websites (DWebs) through the service. “alex.eth,” for example, makes you recognize and quickly locate wallet addresses in a distributed environment. 

Here’s a comparison of DNS and ENS structures as illustrated by the Cointelegraph.

What Are The Uses of .eth Domain Names?

A long set of numbers can be converted into easy-to-remember words using ENS. This provides a more direct experience with fewer chances for mistakes or confusion. The owner of an ENS domain can also construct subdomains to which they can allocate other data. But, it doesn’t have to be a wallet address all of the time. Instead, it could point to a smart contract, metadata, or a transaction.

The ENS.eth domain names are in the middle of two highly impressive markets: traditional domain name investors and blockchain entrepreneurs. Sadly, only a few hundred thousand blockchain domain names have been registered even though millions of blockchain users worldwide. 

There is an increasing demand for domains as blockchain users have learned that choosing a blockchain domain name makes using their applications easier. You can also rent out your blockchain domains to create brand value on your property while leaving your options open, just like conventional domains.

How To Register a .Eth ENS Domain?

If you are a crypto enthusiast and interested to learn how to get a Web3 domain name, below are the steps to register:

  1. Sign into an Ethereum-enabled browser
  2. Navigate to the ENS manager to get your desired .eth name
  3. Select the time interval and start the registration method
  4. Finish the registration process

The Future of Web3 Domain Names

Now that you’ve found the answer to the question “what are Web3 domains?” you might be curious about the future of Web3. The Ethereum Name Service hopes to make cryptocurrency transactions hassle-free and accessible, similar to how PayPal can be conveniently used to pay a friend for an item in crypto.

ENS is a step closer to making blockchain interaction more accessible. But due to its purpose and growing popularity, we may see an increase in ENS names, just as we no longer use IP addresses to access the web. 

Additionally, businesses will become more transparent and user-friendly due to Web3 hostings. It opens the opportunity for blockchain, and soon, individuals, apps, and websites will use blockchain-based domains to allow individuals to access the decentralized web.

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