Amazon is working on a project that will allow customers to make Alexa, the company’s voice assistant, sound like everyone else.
According to Amazon’s senior vice president, the company is working on a system that will allow Alexa to mimic any voice after listening to less than a minute of audio. The project aims to “make the memories last” after “so many of us lost someone we love during the pandemic,” Prasad said.
Amazon’s project on Alexa falls into an area of technology that has recently faced scrutiny, benefits, abuse, and controversy. Microsoft has been forced to restrict which company could use its software to parrot voices. While the goal was to help people with speech impairments or other problems, many worries that it could be used to propagate political deepfakes.
Clarifying what Amazon’s Alexa stands for, Prasad noted that the technology is “generalizable intelligence,” or the ability to adapt to user environments and learn new concepts with little external input. He explained that Alexa’s goal is “not to be confused with the all-knowing capable, Uber artificial general intelligence.”
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.