Learning from audio in just a minute, the new AI feature can give Alexa the ability to sound like almost anyone.

Technology still can not turn people from the dead, but Amazon is working on a feature that will allow its Alexa artificial intelligence assistant to speak to the voice of a dead relative to “make memories” to last “.

At his Re: Mars conference in Las Vegas yesterday (June 22nd), Amazon senior vice president and Alexa chief scientist Rohit Prasad said the e-commerce giant is working on technology that will give Alexa the ability to virtually imitating someone’s audio based on just one minute.

Presenting it as a feature to help people cope with the loss of a loved one, in light of the pandemic, Prasad showed the audience a video in which a child asks Alexa if she can read The Wizard of Oz’s grandmother’s voice . After briefly accepting the baby with her voice, Alexa switched to what appeared to be the grandmother’s voice and read the novel to the baby.

“This required inventions where we had to learn to produce high quality sound with less than one minute of recording versus studio recording hours,” Prasad said of the feature.

“The way we did it is by framing the problem as a voice conversion task and not as a speech generation path. “We are undoubtedly living in the golden age of AI, where our dreams and science.”

Concerns about voice imitation

It is not yet clear when the feature will be available to be presented to the public, but the technology undoubtedly raises a few eyebrows for its uses beyond simply imitating the voice of a dead person. For one, it can be used to falsify the voice of living people for malicious purposes.

“The telephone attack implications of this tool are not good at all – it is likely to be used for imitation.” posted on Twitter hacker and CEO of SocialProof Security, Rachel Tobac.

“I know this technology already exists. I have talked about this danger with other means of organs. But the easier it is to use, the more it will be abused. And that sounds like it might be quite user-friendly. ”

Tobac argued at the outset that in addition to being abused for imitation in calling and accountability, technology “is likely to be used to harass and harm individuals, especially the most vulnerable.”

“I can’t wait for Alexa to use my dead father’s voice to show me how proud he is of my brother.” joked another Twitter user and former journalist, Mike Sharp.

The space of AI sound imitation technology is seeing a lot of interest from the big players in the audio space. Earlier this week, broadcast giant Spotify created the artificial intelligence sound platform, Sonantic, founded by the Irish, the company that gave life to Val Kilmer’s voice in Top Gun: Maverick.

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