July 21, 2017 Practice Points

Artificial Intelligence May Force Legal Community to Reconsider Rules of Evidence

In a few years, voice forgeries may be so good they can fool experts

by John F. Barwell

Artificial intelligence may soon force courts and lawyers to reconsider how voice recordings are authenticated and used as evidence. Three decades after Photoshop made it easy to manipulate imagery, a company in Montreal developed an artificial intelligence platform that lets users manipulate a person’s voice. This new and developing technology may affect lawyers in a variety of practice areas, and in a variety of ways.

According to its website, Lyrebird “can mimic a person’s voice and have it read any text with a given emotion, based on the analysis of just a few dozen seconds of audio recording.” Lyrebird is not alone. Late last year Adobe unveiled Project VoCo, a prototype for a similar software platform that can edit human speech like Photoshop alters images.

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