Amazon plans to let Alexa imitate anyone’s voice – 06/23/2022 – Tec wants to give customers the chance to make Alexa, the company’s voice assistant, speak just like your grandmother — or anyone else.

The online retailer is developing a system to let Alexa mimic any voice after listening to less than a minute of audio, Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s senior vice president, said at a company conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. 22).

“The goal is to make the memories last after many of us have lost someone we love during the pandemic,” Prasad said.

Amazon did not detail when it would launch this feature.

The work enters an area of ​​technology that receives thorough investigation into potential benefits and abuses. For example, Microsoft recently restricted which companies could use its voice imitation software. The tool is intended to help people with speech difficulties or other issues, but some fear it could also be used to propagate political deepfakes.

Amazon hopes the project will help Alexa become ubiquitous in shoppers’ lives. But public attention has already shifted elsewhere. At Alphabet’s Google, an engineer made the highly contested claim that a company’s chat bot had advanced into sentience — the ability to possess sensations.

Prasad said Amazon’s goal for Alexa is “generalizable intelligence,” or the ability to adapt to user environments and learn new concepts with little external input. He said that goal “should not be confused with the ultra capable, omniscient artificial general intelligence,” or AGI, that Alphabet’s DeepMind unit and OpenAI, co-founded by Elon Musk, are pursuing.

Amazon shared its vision of companionship with Alexa at the conference. In one video segment, she portrayed a child who asked, “Alexa, can grandma finish reading the Wizard of Oz?” A moment later, Alexa confirmed the command and changed her voice. The assistant spoke softly, less robotically, ostensibly sounding like the subject’s grandmother in real life.

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