Amazon Testing Alexa Feature To Imitate Voices Of Dead People, In ‘Black Mirror’-Like Development
At a Las Vegas conference, Amazon teased a feature where their Alexa AI device may be able to mimic anyone’s voice after listening to less than a minute of audio, even deceased relatives. This revelation came during the re:MARS 2022 conference.
Rohit Prasad, a senior vice president of the company, said, “While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last.” He noted that “so many of us have lost someone we love,” recently, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prasad was not clear about how close to completion the feature is and when it may be implemented. “We are unquestionably living in the golden era of AI, where our dreams and science fiction are becoming a reality,” he added.
The presentation also included a video of a young child, who asks Alexa “can grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?” Alexa confirmed and changed to that voice.
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Some users online found the proposed feature extremely unsettling, with comparisons being drawn to the science fiction series Black Mirror. Critics of AI also warn that this type of efficient voice-mimicking software could be extremely worrisome in the hands of scammers or other bad actors who could use a small audio sample to impersonate anyone they want to.
Here is the bizarre conference segment below:
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