Amazon Exhibits Off Alexa Talking within the Voice of a Useless Relative

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“Hey Alexa, what’s one other phrase for ‘creepy’?”

In a demo that has drawn comparisons to dystopian sequence “Black Mirror,” Amazon revealed that it has developed a approach for its Alexa voice assistant to duplicate the speech of a useless relative — primarily based on lower than a minute of recorded audio of the unique particular person.

The ecommerce big confirmed off the brand new expertise Wednesday at its re:MARS convention, Amazon’s world artificial-intelligence occasion for machine studying, automation, robotics and house. In a video demo proven on the occasion, a younger boy says, “Alexa, can Grandma end studying me ‘The Wizard of Oz’?” — whereupon a synthesized voice of the grandmother emanates from an Amazon Echo Dot good speaker.


“As you noticed on this expertise, as a substitute of Alexa’s voice studying the ebook, it’s the child’s grandma’s voice,” Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s Alexa AI senior vp and head scientist, informed attendees.

Amazon has already developed voice-synthesizing tech to let Alexa mimic the voices of celebrities, together with Shaquille O’Neal and Melissa McCarthy. However that has beforehand required an particular person to document dozens of hours of audio. Amazon now has developed a approach to replicate a voice in top quality utilizing lower than one minute of recorded speech, which the corporate’s engineers had been in a position to do “by framing the downside as a voice-conversion process, and never a speech-generation process,” in line with Prasad.

In introducing the demo, Prasad mentioned that the means for Alexa’s AI to emulate the speech of a deceased relative can characterize a approach to protect the reminiscence of a liked one who has died. “We’re unquestionably dwelling within the golden period of AI, the place our goals and science fiction are turning into a actuality,” he mentioned.

Watch the Alexa demo within the video under:

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