Amazon’s Alexa lets you talk to dead loved ones

With a new feature in Amazon Alexa, you’ll soon be able to communicate with the voice of a deceased loved one.

Alexa AI chief scientist Rohit Prasad demonstrates the technology at Amazon’s annual MARS Meeting in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The demo video shows a young boy reading “The Wizard of Oz” and then asking Alexa to have his grandmother read the book to him.

“It took an invention and we had to learn to make high-quality sound with less than a minute of recording, not hours in the studio,” Mr Prasad told the crowd.

Mr Prasad said earlier that he was surprised by the relationships people had with their Alexa.

“In this companion role, the human attributes of empathy and emotion are key to building trust,” he said. “These attributes have become even more important in the ongoing pandemic when many of us have lost our loved ones.”

Mr Prasad said that while AI could not eliminate the pain of such loss, it could help make the memory of loved ones lasting.

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Amazon is currently developing the feature, and Mr. Prasad did not say when it would be available to the public.

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