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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Amazon exhibits off Alexa characteristic that mimics the voices of your {dead} family

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Amazon has revealed an experimental Alexa characteristic that enables the AI assistant to imitate the voices of customers’ {dead} family.

The corporate demoed the characteristic at its annual MARS convention, exhibiting a video during which a toddler asks Alexa to learn a bedtime story within the voice of his {dead} grandmother.

“As you noticed on this expertise, as an alternative of Alexa’s voice studying the ebook, it’s the child’s grandma’s voice,” mentioned Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa AI. Prasad launched the clip by saying that including “human attributes” to AI methods was more and more essential “in these instances of the continued pandemic, when so many people have misplaced somebody we love.”

“Whereas AI can’t eradicate that ache of loss, it could actually undoubtedly make their reminiscences final,” mentioned Prasad. You may watch the demo itself under:

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Amazon has given no indication whether or not this characteristic will ever be made public, however says its methods can study to mimic somebody’s voice from only a single minute of recorded audio. In an age of ample movies and voice notes, this implies it’s properly throughout the common shopper’s attain to clone the voices of family members — or anybody else they like.

Though this particular software is already controversial, with customers on social media calling the characteristic “creepy” and a “monstrosity,” such AI voice mimicry has become increasingly common in recent times. These imitations are sometimes generally known as “audio deepfakes” and are already commonly utilized in industries like podcasting, movie and TV, and video video games.

Many audio recording suites, for instance, provide customers the choice to clone particular person voices from their recordings. That manner, if a podcast host flubs her or his line, for instance, a sound engineer can edit what they’ve mentioned just by typing in a brand new script. Replicating traces of seamless speech requires lots of work, however very small edits will be made with a number of clicks.

The identical know-how has been utilized in movie, too. Final 12 months, it was revealed {that a} documentary in regards to the lifetime of chef Anthony Bourdain, who died in 2018, used AI to clone his voice with the intention to learn quotes from emails he despatched. Many followers had been disgusted by the appliance of the know-how, calling it “ghoulish” and “misleading.” Others defended using the know-how as much like different reconstructions utilized in documentaries.

Amazon’s Prasad mentioned the characteristic might allow prospects to have “lasting private relationships” with the deceased, and it’s definitely true that many individuals all over the world are already utilizing AI for this goal. Folks have already created chatbots that imitate dead loved ones, for instance, coaching AI primarily based on saved conversations. Including correct voices to those methods — and even video avatars — is completely doable utilizing at this time’s AI know-how, and is more likely to grow to be extra widespread.

Nonetheless, whether or not or not prospects will need their {dead} family members to grow to be digital AI puppets is one other matter completely.



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