A new Amazon Alexa feature would allow you to speak to the dead.
Unveiled at Amazon’s Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas, the feature gives your Amazon Alexa the capability of mimicking voices, including those of your dead relatives, according to The Associated Press. All you would need to do is provide a less-than-a-minute-long audio recording of the voice you’d like Alexa to mimic.
The new feature was created to “build greater trust” between users and Alexa by adding “human attributes of empathy and affect,” said Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist for Alexa. “These attributes have become even more important during the ongoing pandemic when so many of us have lost ones that we love. While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last,” Prasad said.
The Alexa scientist said Amazon had to learn how to make a “high-quality voice” using a shorter recording instead of in a recording studio, The Associated Press reported.
At the conference, Amazon Alexa showed how the feature works in a video. A young child asks, “Alexa, can Grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?” The virtual assistant then switches to the grandmother’s voice and finishes reading the book.
No more details have been provided about the new Alexa feature.