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Amazon unveiled a new feature for its voice assistant Alexa: the ability to imitate voices, including those of deceased people. It was Rohit Prasad, Senior Vice President of Alexa, who made the announcement at the American giant’s Re: Mars conference on Wednesday, June 22, reports the American channel CNBC.

When introducing this feature, Amazon made a demonstration with a child listening to a story told by his deceased grandmother. This function is currently in the prototype state and the company has not indicated a date for its implementation.

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With this feature, Amazon says it wants to “make memories last” and develop a system that allows its assistant to imitate any voice after hearing less than a minute of audio. “So many of us have lost someone we love. While AI can’t take away that pain of loss, it can certainly make memories last,” Rohit Prasad said.

Voices of deceased people, but also those of celebrities

If you find the idea of ​​having a dead person speak a bit morbid, it’s also possible for Alexa to mimic the voices of celebrities. You will therefore soon be able to converse with a fictional version of Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise.

To create this feature, Alexa “had to learn how to produce high-quality voice in less than a minute of recording, instead of several hours of recording in the studio,” Rohit Prasad said. “We achieved this by framing the problem as a voice conversion task and not a speech generation pathway. We live, arguably, in the golden age of AI, where our dreams and science -fiction become reality,” he added.

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Amazon plans to “humanize” its voice assistant, to make it a “companion” capable of holding coherent conversations. In 2020, the company rolled out one of its new features, which is to make him ask questions to its owners, to allow it to take part in more “natural” conversations.

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