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Amazon’s new pitch: let Alexa speak as your relatives from beyond the grave

At Amazon’s Re:Mars conference, Alexa’s senior vice-president Rohit Prasad exhibited a startling new voice assistant functionality: the supposed capacity to imitate voices. Thus far, there isn’t any timeline in any way as to when or if this characteristic will likely be launched to the general public.

Stranger nonetheless, Amazon framed this copycatting capacity as a option to commemorate misplaced family members. It performed an illustration video during which Alexa learn to a toddler within the voice of his recently deceased grandmother. Prasad burdened that the corporate was searching for methods to make AI as private as potential. “Whereas AI can’t get rid of that ache of loss, he mentioned, “it might probably undoubtedly make the reminiscences final.” An Amazon spokesperson advised Fullgist that the brand new talent can create an artificial voiceprint after being skilled on as little as a minute of audio of the person it is presupposed to be replicating.

Safety consultants have lengthy held considerations that deep faux audio instruments, which use text-to-speech expertise to create artificial voices, would pave the way in which for a flood of latest scams. Voice cloning software program has enabled various crimes, comparable to a 2020 incident within the United Arab Emirates the place fraudsters fooled a financial institution supervisor into transferring $35 million after they impersonated an organization director. However deep faux audio crimes are nonetheless relatively unusual, and the instruments out there to scammers are, for now, comparatively primitive.

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