As lawmakers move to legislate AI voice cloning, ElevenLabs has unveiled a controversial change to its Terms of Service.
ElevenLabs is a startup that offers a prime voice AI service that can generate realistic and versatile speech from any text, using artificial intelligence and deep learning. The company claims that its tool can help creators and publishers produce high-quality audio content in any voice and style, with unprecedented fidelity and emotion. However, not everyone is convinced that ElevenLabs is a benign innovation.
Recently, ElevenLabs updated its terms of service, which sparked a lot of controversy and criticism from users and experts alike. The new terms state that ElevenLabs owns all the rights to the content generated by its service, and that users cannot claim any ownership or royalties from their creations. Moreover, the terms prohibit users from using the service for any illegal, unethical or harmful purposes, such as impersonating, defaming or harassing others, or violating their privacy or intellectual property rights.
Many users expressed their dissatisfaction and outrage over these changes, arguing that they are unfair, restrictive and exploitative. Some users said that they feel betrayed by ElevenLabs, as they invested a lot of time and money into creating audio content with their service, only to find out that they have no control or ownership over it. Others said that they are worried about the potential misuse and abuse of the service by malicious actors, who could use it to create fake news, deepfakes or scams.
In response to these concerns, ElevenLabs defended its terms of service, saying that they are necessary to protect its intellectual property and to ensure ethical and responsible use of its technology. The company said that it does not intend to exploit or harm its users or their creations, but rather to support them and help them grow their audience. The company also said that it has implemented various safeguards and guidelines to prevent and detect any harmful or illegal use of its service, and that it will cooperate with law enforcement authorities if needed.
However, some experts are skeptical about ElevenLabs’ claims and assurances. They say that ElevenLabs’ technology is too powerful and dangerous to be left unregulated and unchecked, and that it poses serious risks to society and democracy. They say that ElevenLabs’ service could enable anyone to create convincing but false audio content, which could be used for propaganda, manipulation or deception. They also say that ElevenLabs’ terms of service could violate users’ rights and interests, and that they could create legal disputes and conflicts.
As a result of these issues, some lawmakers in the US have proposed legislation to regulate voice cloning and synthetic speech technologies like ElevenLabs’. The proposed bills would require companies like ElevenLabs to obtain consent from the original speakers before cloning their voices, and to disclose when audio content is generated by artificial means. The bills would also impose penalties for using voice cloning or synthetic speech for fraudulent or harmful purposes.
The debate over ElevenLabs’ terms of service and technology is still ongoing, and it is unclear how it will be resolved. Some users have decided to stop using ElevenLabs’ service altogether, while others have continued to use it despite the changes. Some experts have called for more research and education on voice cloning and synthetic speech technologies, while others have urged for more regulation and oversight. What is clear is that ElevenLabs’ service has opened up new possibilities and challenges for audio content creation, which will have significant implications for the future of storytelling.