Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is designed to mimic the voices of the dead, according to Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s senior vice president and Alexa chief scientist.
Prasad, speaking at the company’s re:MARS conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, described Alexa’s ability to “synthesize short audio clips” and create speech from them, TechCrunch reported.
In his speech, Prasad explained how a deceased grandmother’s voice could be used to read a story to her surviving child at night, according to TechCrunch.
“It required inventions where we had to learn how to produce high quality vocals with less than a minute of recording versus hours of recording in the studio,” Prasad said.
“The way we did this is to define the problem as a speech conversion task and not as a speech generation path. We are unquestionably living in the golden age of AI, where our dreams and science fictions are becoming reality.
Details are unclear as to when the company will introduce the technology to Alexa, Reuters reported, but Prasad said his goal was to “make the memories last,” given the millions who have lost loved ones. in the COVID-19 pandemic.