scorecardTruecaller and Microsoft collaborate to allow users to ‘clone’ their voice, create AI responses to incoming phone calls
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Truecaller and Microsoft collaborate to allow users to ‘clone’ their voice, create AI responses to incoming phone calls

Truecaller and Microsoft collaborate to allow users to ‘clone’ their voice, create AI responses to incoming phone calls
Tech2 min read
The Western trend of leaving pre-recorded messages on answering machines never really took off in India. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) might soon revolutionise how Indian phone users manage calls, by acting as a personal assistant capable of mimicking their voices!

Truecaller has introduced a novel feature exclusively for its “paying customers”, enabling them to employ an AI-powered Assistant to handle phone calls using their own voices. Unveiled in September 2022, this assistant also boasts capabilities such as screening unknown calls, taking messages, responding on behalf of users and even recording conversations.

This breakthrough is the result of a collaboration with Microsoft. It utilises the tech giant’s Personal Voice technology, which debuted last year as part of Azure AI Speech.

To activate this feature, Truecaller users need to record a brief script in their voice, giving consent to create a digital replica. Once set up, the Assistant can answer calls using this synthetic voice.

Raphael Mimoun, product director and general manager at Truecaller Israel, stated: “The personal voice feature allows our users to use their own voice, enabling the digital assistant to sound just like them when handling incoming calls. This groundbreaking capability not only adds a touch of familiarity and comfort for the users but also showcases the power of AI in transforming the way we interact with our digital assistants.”

To ensure transparency and authenticity, Azure AI Speech’s personal voice feature includes a watermark on speech outputs, detectable by a tool to identify synthetic audio. Currently, this technology is available only through limited registration-only access.

While users typically have the liberty to customise the initial greeting for callers, Truecaller has opted to limit this customisation for personal voices to ensure clarity that the voice is a digital replica. Nevertheless, subsequent responses can still be tailored to suit user preferences.

Truecaller intends to gradually introduce the personal voice feature of its Assistant over the coming weeks, initially targeting markets such as India, the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Sweden and Chile. It will first be accessible to public beta users before being rolled out to all users in these regions.

This update emerges amidst ongoing debates surrounding AI voice cloning, sparked by Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson’s recent accusations of OpenAI replicating her voice for their AI assistant ChatGPT 4o's ‘Sky’ voice.

According to Johansson, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman initially approached her to lend her voice to ChatGPT, a proposition she turned down. However, several months later, upon the launch of ChatGPT 4o featuring the new ‘Sky’ voice, Johansson was shocked by its striking similarity to her own voice. Incensed by this discovery, Johansson's legal representatives intervened, prompting OpenAI to agree to discontinue the ‘Sky’ voice usage.

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