Say hello to Joe Rogan: podcaster, entertainer of problematic views, and man who believes that feeding his all chimp hockey team a diet of bone broth and elk meat will give them the power to rip your balls off.
Or, at least that’s what the unaware listener might believe after listening to an entirely AI-generated clip of the popular podcaster. Unlike Rogan’s typical totally coherent rants, this one is a total fabrication.
“The replica of Rogan’s voice the team created was produced using a text-to-speech deep learning system they developed called RealTalk,” explained the researchers behind the clip in a blog post, “which generates life-like speech using only text inputs.”
This obviously calls to mind deepfakes, the video editing tech that can convincingly edit videos to make it look like people did or said things they in fact did not.
So what did these researchers make fake Rogan say?
“Friends, I’ve got something new to tell all of you,” the convincing Rogan voice explains in the above YouTube clip. “I’ve decided to sponsor a hockey team made up entirely of chimps. I’m tired of people telling me that chimps are not capable of kicking human ass in sports. Chimps are just superior athletes.”
In case that’s not enough, the AI adds the following gem: “I’ve got them on strict diet of bone broth and elk meat. These chimps will rip your balls off.”
Notably, the researchers are aware that their tech could be used for less, shall we say, comical purposes — like spam callers impersonating your Mom’s voice and asking for personal information.
“It’s pretty f*cking scary,” they write.
But, thankfully, the technology isn’t there yet. In the meantime, the researchers leave us with a cautionary note.
“Please note that this project does not suggest that we endorse the views and opinions of Joe Rogan.”
Phew. I’m glad we got that straightened out.