Amazon is working on a creepy feature that will enable Alexa to speak in your dead relative’s voice

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Amazon is working on a creepy feature that will enable Alexa to speak in your dead relative’s voice
Represnetional image.Unsplash
  • Amazon is working on a new feature that will enable Alexa to mimic others’ voices.
  • Alexa will be able to listen to that person speaking for less than a minute and mimic the voice.
  • The feature is aimed at allowing you to use your dead relative’s voice with the assistant.
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A recent trend last year allowed users to animate photos of people, which was majorly being used to animate pictures of dead friends and family members. While some people would find this feature comforting, a lot of people found this creepy. If this was not creepy enough for you, Amazon is working on a feature that will enable Alexa to speak in your dead relative’s voice.

Yes, you read that right. Alexa will soon answer your queries in your dead relative’s voice. Amazon has revealed that it is working on this feature at Amazon’s Re: MARS (Machine Learning, Automation, Robots and Space) conference.

Amazon has said that it wants to “make memories last” and is working on a system that will allow its voice assistant to mimic any voice after hearing audio of the person speaking for less than a minute.

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While announcing the feature, Rohit Prasad, senior vice president, Alexa Team said that while artificial intelligence (AI) cannot eliminate the pain of losing loved ones, “it can definitely make the memories last”.

Prasad then played a video in which a child asks Alexa “Can grandma finish reading me The Wizard of OZ”. Alexa complies by saying “okay” and starts reading in the child’s grandmother’s voice.

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At the moment, it is not clear at what stage the feature is right now and Amazon has not revealed a timeline for its rollout.

Apart from it may creeping out some people, the upcoming feature also has security ramifications. It may be possible to misuse this feature and use others’ voices. This could be misused, allowing people to use the voice of celebrities or other people without their consent.

This could also be a neat way for Amazon to get around having to pay celebrities to lend their voice to Alexa.

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