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The Echo Dot speaker on a table.
Michael Wapp/Shutterstock.com

In a extremely quick and weird demonstration, Amazon confirmed how Alexa can mimic the voice of a lifeless relative to browse bedtime tales or fulfill other duties involving “human-like empathy.” The element is still experimental, but in accordance to Amazon, Alexa only demands a couple of minutes of audio to impersonate someone’s voice.

The demonstration was tucked in the center of Amazon’s annual re:MARS conference, an sector get-jointly that focuses on machine discovering, space exploration, and some other heady things. In it, a young child asks Alexa if Grandma can read The Wizard of OZ—the speaker responds accordingly making use of a synthesized voice.

“Instead of Alexa’s voice looking at the book, it is the kid’s grandma’s voice,” Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa AI, instructed a silent crowd right after the demo.

Prasad details out that “so a lot of of us have lost someone we love” to the pandemic, and claims that AI voice synthesis can “make their reminiscences last.” This is obviously a controversial idea—it’s morally questionable, we do not know how it could affect psychological wellbeing, and we’re not guaranteed how considerably Amazon needs to push the technology. (I signify, can I use a dead relative’s voice for GPS navigation? What is the objective right here?)

Amazon’s innovative voice synthesis tech is also worrying. Formerly, Amazon duplicated the voices of celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal using a number of hrs of skillfully recorded content material. But the business now promises that it can copy a voice with just a couple of minutes of audio. We’ve presently observed how voice synthesis tech can aid in fraud and robbery, so what occurs next?

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We do not know if Amazon will ever debut this voice synthesis element on its wise speakers. But audio deepfakes are fundamentally inescapable. They’re currently a massive aspect of the leisure industry (see Top Gun: Maverick for an instance), and Amazon is just 1 of lots of companies seeking to clone voices.

Resource: Amazon via The Verge