Amazon Alexa wants to deepfake your grandma

Photos of Amazon Echo

Imagine the voice of a deceased loved one coming from this cute, lovable Alexa speaker in the hallway.
photo: Victoria Song / Gizmodo

Those strange ‘relatives come back from the dead’ to see you” trick Celebrities like Kanye West may soon be a reality with your digital assistant.

on Amazon Re: Mars At the conference, the company announced that it was working on a feature that would synthesize short audio clips of a human voice and then reprogram them into longer speech. Rohit Prasad, Amazon Senior Vice President and Alexa Chief Scientist, showed a demo in which, TechCrunch The description, “The voice of a deceased relative (in this case, a grandmother) was used to read a bedtime story to the grandson.”

Prasad points out that the company can accomplish this audio output with just one minute of speech, and goes on to say, “The way we achieve this is by defining the problem as a speech-translation task, rather than a speech-generation path.”

No further details other than this initial demo. Reuters Prahad mentions that the technology’s goal is to “make memories last” after “many of us have lost a loved one,” making it seem rather drastic, the report said.

it does bring to mind Takara Tomy Smart Speaker We reported a few months ago that this could imitate parents’ voices at bedtime so they can read to their children even when they’re physically incapacitated. This is a fantastic idea for parents who travel a lot or are tired of reading the same book.but it improves The problem If a deepfake of someone’s voice can provide the same comfort and security as a warm-blooded human in the room.

To this end, this technology also brings other Questions, such as hearing the voice of someone who has lost a loved one to COVID or other incurable diseases, what emotions does it evoke in a person? Doesn’t that make them even more angry that their man is gone? How does this interaction with the dead work with people who are actively going through their grief? Will it interrupt the process or help it? Besides, what would the dead think?

Of course, deepfakes are always a security risk, though it’s unclear how the feature works speech sample will be stored.

Amazon’s Re: Mars Conference It’s meant to highlight the company’s investments in ambient computing, which includes the capabilities of Alexa. “MARS” stands for Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space.expected Amazon will share more news at its Las Vegas conference in the coming days.

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