Ethan New Delhi. Amazon Inc. is developing a voice-mimicking feature for its virtual assistant Alexa, which mimics the speech of the living and the dead. This feature will be beneficial for those companies, who prepare digital memories of people after death. Alexa’s lead scientist Rohit Prasad presented a video clip of the new feature at Amazon’s re:MARS 2022 conference on artificial intelligence on Wednesday. The clip shows a boy asking Alexa to read ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in his grandmother’s voice. After this Alexa switched her default voice to soft voice.
Prasad said Alexa can imitate voices in less than a minute of recorded audio of the voice. He said that artificial intelligence may not reduce the pain of losing loved ones, but it can certainly preserve the memories. However, an Amazon spokesperson did not give information about when this feature would start for the users.
Trying to bring in text-to-speech technology
He said that the new voice mimicking is a feature that the company is trying to explore in text-to-speech technology. He said it is trying to make the company a high quality voice product with less data than relying on hours of recording in a professional studio.
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question may arise on morality
Many startups are working on using artificial intelligence to create versions of people after their deaths. An app learns to replicate a person as a chatbot. The AI then records people’s stories and uses them to create replicas embedded in the smart speaker. Using artificial intelligence to imitate the voice of someone who is already dead can raise ethical issues.
Emphasis on inclusion in most devices
Amazon has been working on setting timers and playing music to enhance Alexa’s capabilities for years. In 2020, Alexa started asking questions about those demands, which Alexa could not understand. The e-commerce giant is pushing to include Alexa on more devices. Last year it introduced Fire TV sets featuring Alexa. Apart from this, the company has also included Alexa in its new home robot Astro.
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Artificial intelligence will become part of daily life
Prasad, who is leading efforts to expand Alexa’s capabilities, said he believes artificial intelligence will soon become a part of everyday life. We are unquestionably living in the Golden Era of AI, where our dreams and science fiction are becoming reality, he said.
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 01, 2022, 18:19 IST