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Ari Shapiro and Mary Louise Kelly Interview
Below is an excerpt from Encore: NPR’s Full Interview With Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo.
Ari Shapiro: Thank you. Mary Louise Kelly is here in the studio. And Mary Louise, will you explain what’s happening at the end of the interview there?
Mary Louise Kelly: Hey, Ari, what is happening there as an aide has stopped, the interviewer said we’re done. Thank you. And you heard me. Thank the secretary. He did not reply. He leaned in, glared at me, and then turned and with his aides, left the room. Moments later, the same staffer who had stopped the interview re-appeared, asked me to come with her. Just me. No recorder, though. She did not say we were off the record. Nor would I have agreed.
I was taken to the secretary’s private living room, where he was waiting, and where he shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview itself. He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine. He asked, ‘Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’ He used the F-word in that sentence and many others. He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map. I said yes, and he called out for aides to bring us a map of the world with no writing, no countries marked.
Mary Louise: I pointed to Ukraine. He put the map away. He said, ‘People will hear about this.’ And, then he turned and said he had things to do. And I thanked him again for his time and left.
Recreating the interview using AI
Thankfully we don’t need to guess what happened during this interview, we can just have GPT-3 recreate it for us and we can use Tacotron to reconstruct the audio. See the following links for more information:
- OpenAI: Final model release of GPT-32s 1.5 billion parameter version
- Youtube: Two Minute Papers tries out the 774 million parameter model
- Youtube: Speaking in the voice of Obama (Voice cloning)
- Youtube: This AI Clones Your Voice After Listening for 5 Seconds
- Arxiv: Transfer Learning from Speaker Verification to Multispeaker Text-To-Speech Synthesis
- Github: Audio samples from “Transfer Learning from Speaker Verification to Multispeaker Text-To-Speech Synthesis”
Why it matters
This is no way for a member of the State Department to speak to a member of the press. I listened to the interview and Mary Louise Kelly was direct but polite. She was asking important and difficult questions which is her job. These are questions which are important to the American people and yes I can find Ukraine on a map and so could 1 in 6 Americans in 2014. Today almost 1 in 3 Americans know that Ukraine is bordered by Russia and Poland. For Mike Pompeo to speak to her with this level of contempt is unacceptable.
This is a bad idea
No its a great idea. You just think its a bad idea because you keep hearing the administration complain about the “fake news media.” The interview that took place is very real. If you want to train a cashier to spot fake $100 bills, you train them with both real and fake bills. You give people discernment by training them on better data. Real news is real conversations between real people. Fake news is fake conversations between fake people. Up to this point in history there hasn’t been any fake news interviews although there has been interviews labeled as “fake news.”
They want fake news? Give them fake news
The administration keeps on asking for fake news so it does seem inevitable that at some point they are going to get exactly what they asked for. As you ponder on this, I leave you with this Nixon presidential deepfake clip.