Amazon’s personal digital assistant Alexa is on track to gain a new ability – replicating the voices of family members, even if they’re dead.
The capability was unveiled at an Amazon conference this past week in Las Vegas.
The feature is still in development, but it would allow Alexa to mimic the voice of a specific person based on less than a minute of provided recording.
Rohit Prasad, the head scientist for Alexa, said the desire behind the capability was to build greater trust in people’s interactions with Alexa by putting in more “human attributes of empathy and affect.”
Prasad said, “While A.I. [Artificial Intelligence] can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last.”
He then played a video at the event with a young child asking, “Alexa, can Grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?” Alexa then switches to an artificial voice that mimics the child’s grandmother.
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