Adobe’s Project VoCo is a thing to fear in the age of fake news

Adobe’s Project VoCo is a thing to fear in the age of fake news

Adobe’s Project VoCo is a thing to fear in the age of fake news
October 04
14:17 2017

Adobe is pushing the limits of what audio editing should become.

The software developer announced last November that it is developing what it calls, “Photoshop for your voice.” Its official name is “Project VoCo.” With it, you can add words to an audio file which were not originally present.

This is a frightening tool which could only mean bad news in the age of fake news and social media.

A staggering 65 percent of voters already believe there is a lot of fake news in the media so having a tool which can add and change certain aspects of audio files seems like a very dangerous thing which could certainly do more harm than good.

Whole sentences can be altered, words can be erased and phrases can be mixed around to make it completely different than what was originally said. If voters already do not trust the mainstream media, having a tool that can alter important aspects of media will most likely decline even further.

English freshman Adriana Palacios-Blanco fears what consequences could come with using Project VoCo.

“This program seems like a very dangerous thing to have regarding what could happen with news and politics,” Palacios-Blanco said. “I can only expect really negative things to come from this program because it seems like it will be so easy to manipulate words with it.”

This is an extremely irresponsible thing to bestow on people, and if they are given this power, they are bound to severely abuse it.

In the age of fake news and hyper-active social media, news is constantly being labeled as fake and biased. If there is an outlet that can actually make news completely falsified, it is going to spiral into complete and utter chaos. This program can only further widen the gap of the distrust of citizens with the media.

International Studies freshman Soledad Vazquez also has some serious worries regarding Project VoCo.

“Trump has so much effect on the media as it is with his fake news rants that, if something is actually there to make the news fake, it will be a disastrous affair,” Vazquez said. “If VoCo really takes off, the news is likely to be accused of never being trustworthy ever again, and then what will we do?”

The program is still in development, but Project VoCo is a tool that could make trust in the news and journalism stray even further away from the level that it needs to be. There are so many issues that could stem from this project, I am struggling to find any redeeming qualities about it.

It is a tool that does not need to be pushed into the mainstream media and anything that can be done to avoid that, should be. Keep Project VoCo out of the mainstream media and just maybe a little more trust can be restored in the news.

Featured illustration by Max Raign

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Spencer Kain

Spencer Kain

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1 Comment

  1. Nick
    Nick October 05, 12:19

    What a pile of rubbish.

    ” I am struggling to find any redeeming qualities about it.” shows just how little imagination and creativity you have. Take the role of an audio editor when the voice artiste has left to work in another city / country. How to make edits? Voco!

    Imagine hearing the poems in birthday cards of deceased relatives, spoken back to you in their voice. How touching that would be. Plus thousands of other ideas genuinely creative people will use this for.

    Get your thinking straight. There is nothing in Voco that you can’t do by hand in existing audio editing programs. You just need skill and time.

    With all advancements come downsides, we have to minimise them, not stop being creative.

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