VoiceBlock: Privacy through Real-Time Adversarial Attacks with Audio-to-Audio Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Patrick O'Reilly, Andreas Bugler, Keshav Bhandari, Max Morrison, Bryan Pardo


As governments and corporations adopt deep learning systems to collect and analyze user-generated audio data, concerns about security and privacy naturally emerge in areas such as automatic speaker recognition. While audio adversarial examples offer one route to mislead or evade these invasive systems, they are typically crafted through time-intensive offline optimization, limiting their usefulness in streaming contexts. Inspired by architectures for audio-to-audio tasks such as denoising and speech enhancement, we propose a neural network model capable of adversarially modifying a user's audio stream in real-time. Our model learns to apply a time-varying finite impulse response (FIR) filter to outgoing audio, allowing for effective and inconspicuous perturbations on a small fixed delay suitable for streaming tasks. We demonstrate our model is highly effective at de-identifying user speech from speaker recognition and able to transfer to an unseen recognition system. We conduct a perceptual study and find that our method produces perturbations significantly less perceptible than baseline anonymization methods, when controlling for effectiveness. Finally, we provide an implementation of our model capable of running in real-time on a single CPU thread. Audio examples and code can be found at https://interactiveaudiolab.github.io/project/voiceblock.html.