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Episode 118: The business case for deep fakes with Descript’s Kundan Kumar

Deep Fakes are incredibly realistic impersonations that blur the line between truth and fiction. So what happens when the tech to make them is available to everyone? We’re about to find out.

Kundan Kumar is our guest on this episode of the Georgian Impact Podcast. He is co-founder of Lyrebird AI, and now heads up research at Descript. Descript is making it vastly easier for anyone to manipulate audio, even to the point of inserting words that were never actually said. This brings up obvious ethical, trust, and security questions. Fortunately that’s something Kundan and the company are putting a lot of thought into.

You’ll hear about:

  • How anyone can create a voice-double, and the ethical questions that raises.
  • Automating common audio editing tasks like removing ums and ah, and bleeping swear words.
  • Georgian’s podcast production workflow – and how we manipulate what you hear.
  • How these new technologies are, in many ways, evolutions of exiting machine-assistance features like auto-correct, and Google’s Smart Compose
  • Maintaining trust when trickery is effortless and skepticism is ubiquitous.


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Who is Kundan Kumar?

Kundan Kumar is Research Lead at Descript and co-founder of Lyrebird AI. He is a PHd student at Mila, Quebec’s artificial intelligence institute, where he works on generative models for sequences e.g. speech and music.

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