Creep Factor 10: Amazon’s Alexa Can Now Mimic the Voices of Your Dead Relatives

Jeff Bezos at Blue Origin press event ( Joe Raedle /Getty)
Joe Raedle /Getty

Tech giant Amazon has revealed an insanely creepy experimental feature for its AI assistant Alexa that allows it to mimic the voices of its users’ dead relatives.

The Verge reports that Amazon has revealed an experimental feature for its Alexa smart speaker AI assistant that allows the device to mimic the voices of users’ dead relatives. The company displayed this new feature at its annual MARS conference, demoing it by showing a video of a child asking Alexa to read its bedtime story in the voice of a dead grandmother.

Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa AI, commented: “As you saw in this experience, instead of Alexa’s voice reading the book, it’s the kid’s grandma’s voice.” Prasad introduced the clip stating that adding human attributes” to AI systems was becoming increasingly important “in these times of the ongoing pandemic, when so many of us have lost someone we love.”

Prasad added: “While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last.” Amazon has not indicated whether this feature will ever be made public, but stated that its systems can no learn to imitate someone’s voice using just a single minute of recorded audio. With Amazon’s devices constantly listening in on users and the convenience of recording a voice note, it could mean that the average consumer could easily clone the voice of a family member.

Users on social media were quick to call out this new feature, stating that it was “creepy” and a “monstrosity.” Breitbart News has previously reported on the growing popularity of “audio deepfakes” mimicking users voices — usually with their consent and not after they’ve died. Most recently, one of these audio deepfakes was used to recreate the voice of Val Kilmer for the new film Top Gun: Maverick after the actor lost his voice due to complications with throat cancer.

Read more at the Verge here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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