In order to give Alexa a more human quality, Amazon has implemented a number of different techniques. When it comes to Alexa’s voice, it’s getting better and better, but there’s still something robotic about the way it sounds. Alexa celebrity voices can be used, too.
In the future, Alexa may even be able to talk in a more human voice, such as that of a deceased family member. During this week’s MARS conference, senior vice president and lead scientist Rohit Prasad presented this experimental function, saying Alexa AI can mimic a person’s speech with just one minute of recorded audio.
Amazon chose to have Alexa read a bedtime story to a little boy in the voice of his deceased grandma rather than employing an actual human being to demonstrate the capability.
Although this decision may be controversial, it appears to demonstrate Alexa’s progress in humanizing the user experience.. But connecting a user to someone they’ve lost could provide an otherwise priceless experience. I am not saying I support disillusionment. In the context of reasonableness, that is. Even if it’s the voice of a fictional character from a TV program or someone from a foreign time zone, Alexa’s communications may sound more genuine.
It’s true that AI has progressed to the point where it can mimic someone’s speech after just a few minutes of learning or ingestion. However, is this a surprise development? No, not at all. Deepfakes, a term established in 2017, are responsible for concocting convincing-yet-fabricated sights.
Metaphysic founders may have seen a glimpse of their audition for America’s Got Talent with a convincing Simon Cowell AI (opens in new tab). Not because it felt like a magic trick, but because I believe the current state of AI technology is more advanced than many people give it credit for.
In other words, Alexa’s ability to mimic other people was a foregone conclusion. According to a statement made at MARS, this capability will not be available on top-of-the-line Alexa speakers or any other Alexa-enabled devices. If this feature is ever added to Alexa, it will probably be some time before it is available.
Inquiring minds want to know if and how many people are taking advantage of these powers. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to hear the voice of a deceased person, but I wouldn’t discount the value that it might have for someone else.