Who Are You (I Really Wanna Know)? Detecting Audio DeepFakes Through Vocal Tract Reconstruction


Logan Blue, Kevin Warren, Hadi Abdullah, Cassidy Gibson, Luis Vargas, Jessica O'Dell, Kevin Butler, and Patrick Traynor, University of Florida


Generative machine learning models have made convincing voice synthesis a reality. While such tools can be extremely useful in applications where people consent to their voices being cloned (e.g., patients losing the ability to speak, actors not wanting to have to redo dialog, etc), they also allow for the creation of nonconsensual content known as deepfakes. This malicious audio is problematic not only because it can convincingly be used to impersonate arbitrary users, but because detecting deepfakes is challenging and generally requires knowledge of the specific deepfake generator. In this paper, we develop a new mechanism for detecting audio deepfakes using techniques from the field of articulatory phonetics. Specifically, we apply fluid dynamics to estimate the arrangement of the human vocal tract during speech generation and show that deepfakes often model impossible or highly-unlikely anatomical arrangements. When parameterized to achieve 99.9% precision, our detection mechanism achieves a recall of 99.5%, correctly identifying all but one deepfake sample in our dataset. We then discuss the limitations of this approach, and how deepfake models fail to reproduce all aspects of speech equally. In so doing, we demonstrate that subtle, but biologically constrained aspects of how humans generate speech are not captured by current models, and can therefore act as a powerful tool to detect audio deepfakes.

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@inproceedings {280020,
author = {Logan Blue and Kevin Warren and Hadi Abdullah and Cassidy Gibson and Luis Vargas and Jessica O{\textquoteright}Dell and Kevin Butler and Patrick Traynor},
title = {Who Are You (I Really Wanna Know)? Detecting Audio {DeepFakes} Through Vocal Tract Reconstruction},
booktitle = {31st USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 22)},
year = {2022},
isbn = {978-1-939133-31-1},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {2691--2708},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity22/presentation/blue},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug,

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