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Alexa Will Soon Be Able To Mimic Dead People’s Voices

Amazon is moving the world towards a future where Alexa can sound like your dead grandmother.

The retail giant is working on a rather creepy new system that will let Alexa mimic any voice based on less than a minute of speech audio.

This technology was announced at a conference held in Las Vegas yesterday, with a video that showed a child asking “Alexa, can grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?”

Rohit Prasad, an Amazon senior VP said the goal is to “make the memories last” considering “so many of us have lost someone we love”.

“In this companionship role, human attributes of empathy and affect are key for building trust,” Prasad said.

“These attributes have become even more important in these times of the ongoing pandemic, when so many of us have lost someone we love. While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last.”

This seems like a very strange way to hold onto the memory of a loved one – to ask them what time a movie screening starts at the Hoyts.

Prasad assured conference goers that the goal is “not to be confused with the all-knowing, all-capable, uber artificial general intelligence,” and they are after “generalisable intelligence.”

 


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