Tech

Amazon Alexa will be able to mimic the voices of dead loved ones

Amazon Alexa will be able to mimic the voices of dead loved ones

The latest iteration of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant may seem very familiar.

The company announced Wednesday during its annual conference that it is working on an update to its system. This update would enable Alexa to mimic any voice, even of a deceased family member.

In a video shown on stage, Amazon demonstrated how the voice of the grandmother of a young boy who was present there could be played,

Rohit Prasad, a senior Amazon vice president, said the updated system will be able to collect enough audio data from less than a minute of audio to enable such an adjustment. No details were given as to when devices with this feature might be on sale.

The concept stems from Amazon looking for new ways to add more 'human attributes' to artificial intelligence, especially 'in these times of pandemic, when so many of us have lost someone we love,' "Prasad said.

Amazon has long used popular voices, such as the real voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Melissa McCarthy and Shaquille O'Neal.

Recently, actor Val Kilmer, who lost his voice due to throat cancer, collaborated with startup Sonantic to create a similar one of his own to be used for the movie 'Top Gun: Maverick'. According to Variety, the company used Kilmer's archival audio footage to create the algorithm that subsequently brings his voice.