Saturday, July 2, 2022

Amazon’s Alexa Could Soon Mimic Your Dead Relatives’ Voices

Amazon’s Alexa Could Soon Mimic Your Dead Relatives’ Voices

Spotlight

How do you feel about this story?

Like
Love
Haha
Wow
Sad
Angry

Imagine your smart home speaker suddenly starts talking in the voice of your deceased relative. Would you find it sweet, or does it sound downright creepy—straight out of a horror film?

No matter what you think about it, Amazon has already begun teaching Alexa to mimic anyone’s voice, dead or alive, from just a one-minute recording.

Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa, said at a live event on Wednesday, July 22 that his team has been instructing Alexa to pick up a voice from a short audio clip and convert it into a longer audio output. The feature was presented at the Amazon re:MARS conference in Las Vegas.

Prasad introduced that while AI cannot eliminate the pain of losing loved ones, “It can definitely make their memories last.” He then played a short video of how people could use Alexa’s voice-changing capability in real life.

The clip showed a child asking Alexa—”Can Grandma finish reading me The Wizard of Oz?” After she says, “okay,” Alexa goes on to speak in a robotic tone in the voice of the child’s grandmother.

Prasad highlighted that the addition of “human attributes” to AI systems was increasingly important “in these times of the ongoing pandemic when so many of us have lost someone we love.” You can watch the full demo of Alexa’s new voice-imitation feature below:

Although Amazon did not say when this feature would be available to public, the specific program is already controversial for many.

AI voice mimicry is not entirely new and has become increasingly common in recent years. These imitations are often known as “audio deep fakes” and are regularly used in industries like podcasting, film and TV, and video games.

That is why rolling out this feature on easy-access devices like Alexa has raised concerns about its potential for abuse and impersonation.

Meanwhile, others were quick to relate this instance to a Black Mirror episode, a Netflix series about the dark and twisted side of modern technology.

Amazon’s Prasad said the feature could enable consumers to have “lasting personal relationships” with the deceased. However, not all people would like the idea of their departed loved ones becoming a part of a digital AI.

Source: https://youtu.be/22cb24-sGhg

Latest News

Spotlight

The Talk

More Stories

Tricycles In Dagupan City Get Free Franchise Fees For 3 Years

The tricycle permit in Dagupan City will be free for the operators from July 2022 to 2025 as part of the campaign promise of their newly-elected Mayor.

Over 200K Rice Farmers In Western Visayas Get P1.4-B Aid

Rice producers in Western Visayas will receive PHP5,000 in monetary support beginning in July.

Ilocos Norte LGUs Host Public Viewing Of Marcos Inauguration

Ilocos Norte was at a standstill on Thursday as locals watched the live coverage of the inaugural ceremony of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the National Museum in Manila.

Revival Of Barter Trade In Mindanao To Resolve Fuel Hikes

The Bangsamoro Region to resolve fuel price hikes with barter trade.

Aussie Government To Renew Diplomatic Ties With PH Under Marcos Admin

The Australian Governor-General meets with the newly inaugurated President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to renew the “formal diplomatic relationship” between Australia and the Philippines.

Entertainment

Travel

Motoring