back to article Biden's State of the Union included a battle cry against AI mimicry

US president Joe Biden used the State of the Union address on Thursday to call for a ban on AI voice impersonation. The president stated that although he'd signed more than 400 bipartisan bills, he still had more to do, including harnessing "the promise of AI and protect us from its peril. Ban AI voice impersonation and more …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's always about competition and confrontation with the US, never collaboration.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Competition...

      "Republicans stand for raw, unbridled Evil and Greed and Ignorance smothered in Balloons and Ribbons" - Frank Zappa.

      A quote stuck on my fridge with a little magnetic panel for 20 years now because I have always loved Frank Zappa from the US.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Competition...

        Funny thing is that Zappa was a Conservative who hated the direction the Republican Party was going. Look up his thoughts on Fascist Theocracy for a good portion of the reason why.

  2. ChoHag Silver badge

    > and in the next that the US wants competition with China, not conflict.

    You want competition, but not a level playing field. You might lose if you have to play fair.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Tilting the playing field IS a competitive tactic.

      All's fair in love and business...

  3. xyz Silver badge

    If America wants to be great again...

    Maybe you should train your people in a world adopted measurement system. The amount of American stuff I really liked but HAVEN'T bought online because the measurements are in pounds and inches is huge. Even just put the kgs, cms in brackets, but I'm not wasting my time doing conversions. Sorry.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: If America wants to be great again...

      And 110v. What's that about.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: If America wants to be great again...

        "And 110v. What's that about."

        That's about half the voltage coming into the the vast majority of household breaker panels here in North America. It's also plenty for household lighting and other low power applications.

        Shirley you're not daft enough to think that one size fits all electricity needs?

        1. b1k3rdude

          Re: If America wants to be great again...

          Er they do have 220-240v over there aswell, its just not common in households.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: If America wants to be great again...

            As I said, "it's about half the voltage". 110V is "about half" of 220-240V ... almost all household main breaker panels here in the US are 240V, not 110.

            It's not just common for households to have 240V at the panel, it's considered extremely odd if it's not available. And this has been true since the 1950s or thereabouts ... Ovens, ranges, water heaters, clothes dryers, HVAC needs, well pumps and the like all run on 240V. Some folks have 240V toasters, kettles, microwave ovens, and other high wattage things like that in the kitchen. Likewise shop tools are often 240V. It's only low-power needs like coffee pots, lighting, clocks, clothes washers, radios, computers, TVs, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, and that kinda thing that uses the cheaper wiring and breakers of 110V.

            Some folks also have 3-phase available at home, in varying voltages and configurations according to their needs. This is mostly for machine tools, water delivery and the like.

      2. blackcat Silver badge

        Re: If America wants to be great again...

        Ask Japan, they can't even decide if they are 50 or 60Hz!

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: If America wants to be great again...

          Japan also uses 100V for standard household needs.

          Yes, I know, 200V is also available, but it's not the standard.

    2. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

      Re: If America wants to be great again...

      "Even just put the kgs, cms in brackets, but I'm not wasting my time doing conversions. Sorry."

      2.2 pounds to the kilo, 2.54 cm to the inch, or thereabouts.I don't see that as a problem, but then I grew up in the 70s and 80s when both systems were in common use, and I switch between them freely as is convenient. If it bothers you so much, you could easily do that too, but there's no need to be sorry if you can't manage it, I'm sure the left pondian economy will manage without you.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: If America wants to be great again...

        Exactly. People who think conversion on the fly is hard either never lived with it as a fact, or are mentally deficient.

  4. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    "Ban AI voice impersonation and more!"

    The devil is going to be in the detail with this one. Impersonation implies pretending to be someone else, with nefarious intent, which is obviously a bad thing. It doesn't necessarily require AI to do it, though - a talented mimic could probably do a good enough job to fool most people, most of the time, unless they had the original there to compare with. Whereas AI voices don't sound genuine to me, no matter how good they are.

    A blanket ban risks outlawing legitimate AI replication of someone's voice, without addressing other ways in which impersonation can be achieved. Of course, being a politician, that doesn't matter - all they care about is not losing votes through some pillock making a bad clone of them saying something detrimental.

  5. imanidiot Silver badge


    There are many legitimate uses for AI voice tech and voice mimicry in things like music and film production for all sorts of reasons. From finishing dialog from actors who have shuffled off their mortal coil to correcting minor mistakes or improving editing "flow", such things will always be useful for someone. If the tech exists and gets improved for such things, there will always be someone who can use the exact same tech for nefarious purposes. Since the act of imitating someone for personal gain is already pretty much covered by other laws, trying to ban AI voice imitation directly is imho both foolhardy and superfluous

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