Image Credit: Juan Ci/Shutterstock

The latest iteration of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant could sound eerily familiar.

The company declared openly on Wednesday during its annual re: MARS conference, which concentrates on artificial intelligence innovation, that it’s working on an update to its Alexa system that would enable the technology to mimic any voice, even a late family member.

Rohit Prasad, an Amazon senior vice president, said, “the updated system will be able to collect enough voice data from less than a minute of audio to make personalization like this possible, rather than having someone spend hours in a recording studio like how it’s done in the past.” Prasad, however, did not elaborate on the time of launch. Amazon refused to comment on a timeline.

The concept arises from Amazon discovering new ways to add more “human attributes” to artificial intelligence, especially “in these times of the ongoing pandemic when so many of us have lost someone we love,” Prasad said. “While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last.”

Recently, actor Val Kilmer, who lost his voice to throat cancer, collaborated with startup Sonantic to develop an AI-driven speaking voice for him in the new “Top Gun: Maverick” film. The company utilized archival audio footage of Kilmer to teach an algorithm how to talk like the actor, according to Variety.
Adam Wright, a senior analyst at IDC Research, said he” sees the value in Amazon’s effort.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here