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 know-how at Amazon re:MARS

LAS VEGAS — A small video of a child inquiring Alexa to have his grandma examine the Wizard of Oz is producing additional than its share of buzz right after Amazon described that the voice was actually a simulation.

To make it take place, Amazon “had to discover to create a substantial-high-quality voice with fewer than a moment of recording versus several hours of recording in a studio,” stated Rohit Prasad, Alexa AI senior vice president and head scientist, in the course of a keynote address Wednesday morning at the company’s re:MARS convention in Las Vegas.

Amazon is not saying when the capacity could be unveiled as an Alexa feature, or what forms of safety measures could possibly accompany a rollout. AI-created synthesized voices have raised worries about the likely for abuse, quite possibly staying misused to trick people into contemplating others had mentioned a thing they hadn’t.

A established of “Responsible AI” principles introduced this week by Microsoft outlines a collection of safeguards against probable misuse of artificial voices.

Prasad hinted at the fundamental technical method utilised by Amazon for the capability, saying that the critical was “framing the challenge as a voice-conversion process, and not a speech-technology task.”

Introducing the demo, he explained the technological know-how as a way to protect the recollections of liked ones, stating it is element of a increasing recognition of the role that Alexa can serve as a companion.

“In this companionship job, human attributes of empathy and have an impact on are key for setting up have confidence in,” he stated. “These attributes have turn into even a lot more significant in these situations of the ongoing pandemic, when so quite a few of us have lost a person we really like. What AI simply cannot eradicate that agony of loss, it can undoubtedly make their recollections very last.”

Prasad named it “one of the new capabilities we’re functioning on, which allows long lasting private relationships.”


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