Amazon previews Alexa functionality that synthesizes an individual’s voice from lower than a minute of audio – GeekWire

Rohit Prasad, Alexa AI senior vice chairman and head scientist, discusses the voice synthesis expertise at Amazon re:MARS

LAS VEGAS — A brief video of a kid asking Alexa to have his grandma learn the Wizard of Oz is producing greater than its share of buzz after Amazon defined that the voice was really a simulation.

To make it occur, Amazon “needed to be taught to supply a high-quality voice with lower than a minute of recording versus hours of recording in a studio,” stated Rohit Prasad, Alexa AI senior vice chairman and head scientist, throughout a keynote handle Wednesday morning on the firm’s re:MARS convention in Las Vegas.

Amazon isn’t saying when the potential may very well be launched as an Alexa characteristic, or what varieties of precautions would possibly accompany a rollout. AI-generated synthesized voices have raised issues concerning the potential for abuse, presumably being misused to trick folks into pondering others had stated one thing they hadn’t.

A set of “Accountable AI” rules launched this week by Microsoft outlines a collection of safeguards in opposition to potential misuse of artificial voices.

Prasad hinted on the underlying technical method utilized by Amazon for the potential, saying that the important thing was “framing the issue as a voice-conversion activity, and never a speech-generation activity.”

Introducing the demo, he described the expertise as a approach to protect the recollections of family members, saying it’s a part of a rising recognition of the function that Alexa can function a companion.

“On this companionship function, human attributes of empathy and have an effect on are key for constructing belief,” he stated. “These attributes have turn into much more necessary in these instances of the continuing pandemic, when so many people have misplaced somebody we love. What AI can’t eradicate that ache of loss, it may well positively make their recollections final.”

Prasad known as it “one of many new capabilities we’re engaged on, which permits lasting private relationships.”

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