Amazon previews Alexa capability that synthesizes a person’s voice from less than a minute of audio – GeekWire


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

LAS VEGAS — A short online video of a kid asking Alexa to have his grandma examine the Wizard of Oz is building more than its share of buzz right after Amazon defined that the voice was in fact a simulation.

To make it occur, Amazon “had to study to make a higher-high-quality voice with a lot less than a moment of recording versus several hours of recording in a studio,” stated Rohit Prasad, Alexa AI senior vice president and head scientist, during a keynote address Wednesday early morning at the company’s re:MARS meeting in Las Vegas.

Amazon isn’t stating when the functionality could be produced as an Alexa characteristic, or what forms of precautions could accompany a rollout. AI-created synthesized voices have lifted worries about the likely for abuse, probably staying misused to trick persons into contemplating other individuals had said one thing they hadn’t.

A established of “Responsible AI” ideas unveiled this week by Microsoft outlines a collection of safeguards from prospective misuse of synthetic voices.

Prasad hinted at the fundamental technological approach made use of by Amazon for the functionality, expressing that the vital was “framing the trouble as a voice-conversion task, and not a speech-generation task.”

Introducing the demo, he explained the technology as a way to maintain the reminiscences of cherished kinds, indicating it’s component of a escalating recognition of the function that Alexa can serve as a companion.

“In this companionship position, human attributes of empathy and influence are vital for making trust,” he reported. “These attributes have grow to be even more significant in these instances of the ongoing pandemic, when so lots of of us have lost somebody we like. What AI cannot do away with that suffering of loss, it can absolutely make their memories previous.”

Prasad termed it “one of the new capabilities we’re doing the job on, which allows lasting particular associations.”


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