Amazon is developing a technology based on Artificial intelligence (AI) that recovers the voice of deceased people and plays them through his virtual assistant, Alexa.
The company has announced this work during the MARS conference, an event dedicated to machine learning and automation where he exhibited a demonstration of it.
The person in charge of making it known has been the senior engineer Rohit Prasad, who has assured that «one of the most amazing things about Alexa is the companionship we have with her«. Prasad has insisted that »in this companionship relationship, the human attributes of empathy and affection are key to generating confidence« and that these have become relevant as a result of the pandemic.
“Many of us have lost a loved one, and while AI can’t take away the pain of loss, it can make your loved ones feel better. regards endure,” he said. So he has exposed a case where a child asking Alexa if her grandmother can finish reading to him’The Wizard of Oz‘. After receiving the ‘Okey’ from the assistant, you can hear the narration of a part of this book with a different female voice.
The manager stressed that this invention has required Amazon developers to learn to “produce a high quality voice with less than a minute of recording versus hours of recording in the studio«. And he has advanced that, in order to work on it, they have focused on this ability as a speech conversion task instead of generating that voice. Prasad has not indicated when this technology will be availablealthough he has insisted that, at the moment, the company is working on it.
This is not the first time that a large company has worked on a system of these characteristics so that users can chat with deceased people. Microsoft, for example, last year registered a patent designed to create chatbots that would allow these conversations to be established, based on content consisting of images, voice recordings or posts on social networks. After being involved in a controversy and after receiving criticism that this system was «disturbing“, Microsoft confirmed that it had no plans to produce this product.