Amazon shows off Alexa feature that mimics the voices of your deceased relatives

Amazon exhibits off Alexa characteristic that mimics the voices of your deceased kin

Amazon has unveiled an experimental Alexa characteristic that permits the AI ​​assistant to imitate the voices of customers’ deceased kin.

The corporate demonstrated the characteristic at its annual MARS convention, displaying a video during which a baby asks Alexa to learn a bedtime story in his late grandmother’s voice.

“As you have seen on this expertise, as an alternative of Alexa’s voice studying the guide, it is the kid’s grandmother’s voice,” stated Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s chief scientist for Alexa AI. Prasad launched the clip by saying that including “human attributes” to AI methods has turn out to be more and more vital “in these occasions of the continuing pandemic, when so many people have misplaced somebody we love.”

“Whereas AI cannot take away that ache of loss, it may definitely make their reminiscences lasting,” Prasad stated. You possibly can take a look at the demo for your self under:

Amazon has not given any indication of whether or not this characteristic will ever be made public, however says its methods can be taught to mimic somebody’s voice from only one minute of recorded audio. In an age of plentiful movies and voice memos, which means it is properly inside the attain of the typical client to clone the voices of family members — or anybody else they like.

Whereas this explicit utility is already controversial, with social media customers calling the characteristic “creepy” and a “monstrosity”, such AI voice mimicry has turn out to be extra widespread in recent times. Typically often known as “audio deepfakes”, these imitations are already repeatedly utilized in industries akin to podcasting, movie and TV, and video video games.

For instance, many audio recording suites enable customers to clone particular person voices from their recordings. That manner, if, say, a podcast host is simplifying her or his line, a sound engineer can edit what they’ve stated by merely typing in a brand new script. Replicating seamless traces of speech requires lots of work, however very small edits might be made with a couple of clicks.

The identical know-how has additionally been utilized in movie. It was revealed final yr {that a} documentary concerning the lifetime of chef Anthony Bourdain, who died in 2018, used AI to clone his voice to learn quotes from emails he despatched. Many followers had been disgusted by the know-how’s utility, calling it “creepy” and “deceitful.” Others defended the know-how’s use as much like different reconstructions utilized in documentaries.

Amazon’s Prasad stated the characteristic may allow prospects to have “lasting private relationships” with the deceased, and it is definitely true that many individuals around the globe are already utilizing AI for this goal. Folks have already created chatbots that imitate deceased family members, for instance by coaching AI primarily based on saved conversations. Including correct voices to those methods — and even video avatars — is fully doable utilizing present AI know-how and can probably turn out to be extra widespread.

Whether or not prospects need their deceased family members to turn out to be digital AI dolls, nevertheless, is one other matter.

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