Users will hear dead people's mimic as Alexa's new feature

Users will hear dead people's mimic as Alexa's new feature

Amazon revealed a novel experimental feature for its voice assistant Alexa at the re: MARS 2022 developer conference: the feature to mimic the voice of the dead. You did read that correctly. Alexa may soon have the ability to mimic the deceased people, in a scenario that sounds right out of a dystopian sci-fi film.

Alexa May Soon Mimic Voice of Deceased Relatives

Amazon showed a sample video of a child asking Alexa to read a bedtime tale at the event. The young child in the video asks Alexa, "Alexa, can grandma finish reading me The Wizard of Oz?" Soon after, Alexa begins reading the story aloud to the young child in grandma's voice.

The finest aspect was that the grandmother's voice sounded genuine rather than artificial and boring as you might expect from a voice assistant.

“This required inventions where we had to learn to produce a high-quality voice with less than a minute of the recording versus hours of recording in the studio. The way we made it happen is by framing the problem as a voice conversion task and not a speech generation path. We are unquestionably living in the golden era of AI, where our dreams and science fiction are becoming a reality,” said Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s Senior Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa.

Although Amazon's demonstration of the voice imitating capability was endearing, I can immediately imagine a number of instances in which customers tried to take advantage of it. It is yet to be seen if other voice assistants will be able to recognize that the voice is originating from Alexa and prevent instances of voice recognition authentication systems being bypassed.

As this is more of a "voice conversion effort and not a speech generation approach," Prasad has also discussed the potential difficulties. More information on this should become available soon. There is currently no information regarding the availability because it is still under development.

Do you believe Alexa should be able to mimic the voices of the deceased? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.