Speaker anonymization using neural audio codec language models

Panariello, Michele; Nespoli, Francesco; Todisco, Massimiliano; Evans, Nicholas
ICASSP 2024, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, 14-19 April 2024, Seoul, Korea

The vast majority of approaches to speaker anonymization involve the extraction of fundamental frequency estimates, linguistic features and a speaker embedding which is perturbed to obfuscate the speaker identity before an anonymized speech waveform is resynthesized using a vocoder. Recent work has shown that x-vector transformations are difficult to control consistently: other sources of speaker information contained within fundamental frequency and linguistic features are re-entangled upon vocoding, meaning that anonymized speech signals still contain speaker information. We propose an approach based upon neural audio codecs (NACs), which are known to generate high-quality synthetic speech when combined with language models. NACs use quantized codes, which are known to effectively bottleneck speaker-related information: we demonstrate the potential of speaker anonymization systems based on NAC language modeling by applying the evaluation framework of the Voice Privacy Challenge 2022. 

Digital Security
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