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Amazon's new pitch: let Alexa speak as your relatives from beyond the grave


Mike Blake / reuters

At Amazon’s Re:Mars conference, Alexa’s senior vice-president Rohit Prasad exhibited a startling new voice assistant capability: the supposed ability to mimic voices. So far, there's no timeline whatsoever as to when or if this feature will be released to the public.

Stranger still, Amazon framed this copycatting ability as a way to commemorate lost loved ones. It played a demonstration video in which Alexa read to a child in the voice of his recently deceased grandmother. Prasad stressed that the company was seeking ways to make AI as personal as possible. “While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, he said, "it can definitely make the memories last.” An Amazon spokesperson told Engadget that the new skill can create a synthetic voiceprint after being trained on as little as a minute of audio of the individual it's supposed to be replicating ...


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