On Friday, Adobe announced and demoed a new project they’ve been working on in secret called Project VoCo. This new application, they’re claiming, will do for audio what photoshop did for photos. At its core, Project VoCo is an audio file editing app, but it does a lot more than that. Project VoCo will allow its user to take a selection of an audio recording and rearrange the words in the sentence and have it play back as a near-seamless altered audio file. The app also has the capability to insert new words or delete words from the recording.
Jordan Peele does the best job of summing up Adobe’s new Project VoCo when he yells, “You’re a witch!” during Zebu Jin’s demo at Adobe MAX on Friday. During the demonstration Jin was able to show off the new software by taking an audio recording of Keegan-Michael Key (Jordan Peele’s comedy partner from Key and Peele), and change it so it sounds like Key was saying, “I kissed Jordan three times,” when the original recording said, “I kissed my dogs, and my wife.” The app needs at least 20 minutes of audio recording to analyze before it can replicate the voice of the person being recorded. It then transcribes the audio into text where the user can then alter the text to suit his or her purpose.
While this technology is neat, it does raise some questions about the usability of such software. Jin, during the demo, says it will be good for fixing issues in Podcast recording and can be useful for audiobooks. The technology might also be useful for changing dialogue in movies in order to edit them for a TV audience. There are also some terrifying aspects of this technology, namely the possibility someone could incriminate another person with an audio recording of something he or she did not say. Jin did note during the presentation that Adobe is working on adding certain security precautions (like some sort of watermark) in order to identify these false recordings, but time will only tell if something like that will be effective or not.
As of right now Project VoCo is still being developed by Adobe with no word yet on when or if it’ll ever be released to the public. Regardless, it is still interesting to see this new technology which opens up an entire word of creative possibilities in the future.
Special thanks to @TheBlackFord for this topic!