Your scientists were so busy wondering whether they could or didn’t stop to think about what to do
Nowadays, virtual assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa are with us wherever we go, even though that can seem a little intimidating at times. It looks like Amazon is trying to take things to another level, as the company took to the platform this week to boast about Alexa’s new ability to mimic the voices of dead people.
During Amazon’s Re-Mars conference in Las Vegas (via Android Authority), the company showed off a feature that allows the assistant to quickly learn someone’s voice from a voice recording of less than a minute before emulating it. allows. The intended use case is to allow people to hear the voices of deceased relatives once again. In a video shown during Keynote, a child asks Alexa if their grandmother can finish reading the Wizard of OzPrompting Alexa to speak in the child’s grandmother’s voice.
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Some people certainly find solace and comfort in hearing the voice of a deceased relative they miss dearly, especially through the use of video recordings or other stored material at hand. This is certainly not the same as an AI reconstruction of their voice based on a short voice recording, which is instead, at best, a bit disturbing, and depending on the person, possibly as emotionally manipulative or destructive. may come to the fore.
It doesn’t look like it will be making its way to Amazon’s voice assistant anytime soon, as the company didn’t talk about a specific release timeline. It’s possible that he wanted to flex his AI muscles in front of Google and other competitors in the space. If that was the purpose, it’s undoubtedly one of the top “weird flexes but ok” moments we’ve seen to date.