Amazon’s Alexa will soon be able to speak with the voice of your deceased loved ones.
The voice assistant will mimic the sound of deceased people and speak as they would if they were still there, Amazon said.
He can read a bedtime story, just like someone’s dear deceased mom. Or make bad jokes like dead dad.
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He can even tell war stories as if Grandma was still in the room.
The feature will arrive in a future device update.
Amazon said it wouldn’t take away the pain of loss. Alexa senior vice president Rohit Prasad said the goal was “to make the memories last after so many of us lost someone we love” during the pandemic.
“We are unquestionably living in the golden age of AI where our dreams and science fictions are coming true,” he added.
The feature only requires one minute of audio recording fed into the system. The artificial intelligence will then use this recording to construct an entire voice.
The company exemplified this by channeling the voice of a deceased grandmother to read it to a young person. It showed a child asking Alexa for Grandma to finish reading The Wizard of Oz to me.
The device recognized the command, changed its voice, and started reading the book in soft, soothing tones.
An AI capable of recreating people’s voices has been used in the new movie Top Gun: Maverick to read actor Val Kilmer’s lines after his childbirth was affected by cancer.
But some criticized the voice copy as scary or misleading.
Microsoft has restricted access to similar voice-recreation tools, fearing they could be used to create deepfake videos that put words in people’s mouths.
‘Black Mirror’ trended on Twitter following the Alexa announcement as people compared it to the dystopian sci-fi series in which individuals grapple with the manipulative effects of advanced technology .