Wouldn’t it be great if your smartphone could call your hairdresser and book an appointment, or haggle with your favorite restaurant for dinner reservations? This past May, Google demonstrated software, called Duplex, that can do just that. The audience of techies was suitably astonished. But consider what it might be like to be on the other end of that conversation—to get a call from a computer sounding like a real human?
“Think about this: An attacker records my wife’s voice, ‘learns’ it using AI, and now he can craft a targeted campaign calling me from my wife’s [fake] phone number,” says Rahul Kashyap, president and CEO of Awake Security. “At that point, he could try anything, like asking me to transfer a particular amount to a bank for some genuine-sounding reason.” The same could conceivably happen with CEOs, presidents or four-star generals.