Amazon’s Alexa will soon be able to speak to you in the voice of your grandmother

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Alexa will quickly be capable of hit you with a little bit of nostalgia and converse to you in a liked one’s voice. New updates to the AI machine, which primarily serves as a digital assistant, had been revealed at Amazon’s annual “re: Mars” convention on Wednesday. The corporate says Alexa’s new functionality will “enable lasting personal relationships.” 

For instance, if somebody asks Alexa to learn a narrative of their grandmother’s voice, she will. Utilizing a brief recording of somebody’s voice, Alexa can study to imitate it, Senior Vice President and head scientist of Alexa AI at Amazon Rohit Prasad mentioned.

In a video performed on the occasion, a younger boy asks Alexa to have his grandmother end studying him the “Wizard of Oz.”

The flexibility for Alexa to be a companion and have human-like empathy is very helpful after many individuals misplaced family members through the pandemic, Prasad mentioned. “While AI can’t eliminate the pain of loss, it can make those relationships last.”


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To create this characteristic, Amazon “had to learn to produce a high-quality voice with less than a minute of recording versus hours of recording in the studio,” Prasad mentioned. “The way we made it happen is by framing the problem as a voice conversion task and not a speech generation path.”

In 2019, Amazon introduced Alexa had the flexibility to undertake the voices of public figures – comparable to Samuel L. Jackson’s recognizable voice – with their consent, by using recordings the celebrities supply up because the baseline for extra computer-generated phrases.

One other new replace introduced on the occasion is “conversation mode,” which implies you do not have to say “Hey, Alexa” to proceed conversing with the machine. You merely say it as soon as, and you’ll proceed to ask Alexa questions or make requests.

Alexa, Prasad mentioned, additionally has human-like reasoning – the flexibility to make use of short-term context out there within the second, and long-term reminiscence gathered over years of expertise. For instance, in the event you ask her to remind you concerning the Tremendous Bowl, she is not going to solely search for the date and time, however be sure that it’s in your time zone, then she’s going to set a reminder for 10 minutes earlier than the sport.

One other instance: Alexa has hunches about your routine, and can discover in the event you ask to activate and off lights on the identical time day by day. 

She primarily thinks earlier than she speaks. If somebody tells Alexa they wan’t to purchase flowers for his or her spouse, she’s going to infer a romantic relationship and counsel shopping for crimson roses, Prasad mentioned. 

“We are unquestionably living in the golden era of AI, where our dreams and science fictions are becoming a reality,” Prasad mentioned. 

In 2019, Amazon introduced Alexa had the flexibility to undertake the voices of public figures – comparable to Samuel L. Jackson’s recognizable voice – with their consent, by utilizing recordings the celebrities supply up because the baseline for extra computer-generated phrases.

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