The new iOS update will allow users to recreate a voice via artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning.
- The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is scheduled to meet on June 5 and reveal new technologies like iOS17 and virtual reality (VR) headsets.
- A new slate of iPhone accessibility features is expected to be announced, including assistive access for individuals with cognitive disabilities and a new point-and-speak detection mode for its Magnifier feature.
- Among the new features will be a “Personal Voice,” which will allow Apple devices to generate digital reproductions of a person’s voice in FaceTime and Audio Calls.
- The feature gathers 15 minutes of audio recordings and uses machine learning to generate a recreation of the voice.
- No release date for the features is noted, but are expected to launch later in 2023 with the next major iPhone update, CNBC reports.
Why It’s Important
Apple is constantly releasing new features and apps for its devices with every new update, from journaling features to classical music subscriptions. It is always looking for ways to compete in the modern tech scene and adopt ideas that have proliferated on the market.
The feature is intended as an accessibility feature to help family members with trouble speaking. Using machine learning AI to help individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) speak will make the phone appealing to individuals with disabilities.
The feature does create privacy and fraud concerns. New AI scams have begun appearing in the past year, which feature voice recreations of family members and friends asking for money over the phone, and such a feature could potentially be severely abused. Apple has localized the processing effort to individual devices to limit potential access to recordings, but it is feasible that others could recreate similar recordings with access to audio.
“The most important thing is being able to communicate with friends and family. If you can tell them you love them in a voice that sounds like you, it makes all the difference in the world—and being able to create your synthetic voice on your iPhone in just 15 minutes is extraordinary,” says Team Gleason ALS advocate Philip Green.