Amazon's Alexa being tested to replicate voice of dead relatives


Category:  Health, Science & Technology

Via:  hallux  •  2 years ago  •  5 comments

By:   AP

Amazon's Alexa being tested to replicate voice of dead relatives

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Amazon's Alexa might soon replicate the voice of family members - even if they're dead.

The capability, unveiled at Amazon's Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas, is in development and would allow the virtual assistant to mimic the voice of a specific person based on a less than a minute of provided recording.

Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist for Alexa, said at the event Wednesday that the desire behind the feature was to build greater trust in the interactions users have with Alexa by putting more “human attributes of empathy and affect.”

“These attributes have become even more important during the ongoing pandemic when so many of us have lost ones that we love,” Prasad said. “While AI can't eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last.”

In a video played by Amazon at the event, a young child asks “Alexa, can Grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?” Alexa then acknowledges the request, and switches to another voice mimicking the child's grandmother. The voice assistant then continues to read the book in that same voice.

To create the feature, Prasad said the company had to learn how to make a “high-quality voice” with a shorter recording, opposed to hours of recording in a studio.

Amazon did not provide further details about the feature. The rollout is bound to spark more privacy concerns and ethical questions about consent.


jrDiscussion - desc
Masters Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    2 years ago

Oh goody, Creepy Aunt Alexa and another reason to set an empty dinner service at the table.

pat wilson
Professor Guide
1.1  pat wilson  replied to  Hallux @1    2 years ago

A few years ago there was a glitch in Alexa and she was known to randomly laugh out loud for no reason. Amazon corrected it. A friend of mine had that happen and it freaked her out a bit.

Professor Guide
2  Tacos!    2 years ago

For me, I think this would be deeply disturbing and upsetting.

Part of healing from loss is accepting that loss. This would be like reopening a wound and rubbing salt in it.

Professor Quiet
3  Freefaller    2 years ago

Gotta agree with others, this is f'd up

charger 383
Professor Silent
4  charger 383    2 years ago

Some might like it, like seeing deceased relatives and hearing them on videos but I would not like a machine talking like them on a regular basis..  That would be creepy.  


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