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

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

LAS VEGAS — A shorter online video of a child asking Alexa to have his grandma browse the Wizard of Oz is making much 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 master to create a substantial-excellent voice with much less than a moment of recording as opposed to hrs of recording in a studio,” mentioned Rohit Prasad, Alexa AI senior vice president and head scientist, all through a keynote handle Wednesday early morning at the company’s re:MARS conference in Las Vegas.

Amazon isn’t saying when the functionality could be unveiled as an Alexa characteristic, or what styles of safeguards may possibly accompany a rollout. AI-created synthesized voices have raised considerations about the possible for abuse, maybe becoming misused to trick people today into imagining some others had said a little something they hadn’t.

A established of “Responsible AI” principles released this 7 days by Microsoft outlines a series of safeguards in opposition to probable misuse of synthetic voices.

Prasad hinted at the underlying technological solution applied by Amazon for the capability, declaring that the important was “framing the challenge as a voice-conversion endeavor, and not a speech-technology task.”

Introducing the demo, he explained the know-how as a way to preserve the reminiscences of beloved types, saying it is aspect of a expanding recognition of the function that Alexa can provide as a companion.

“In this companionship part, human attributes of empathy and have an affect on are essential for building have confidence in,” he said. “These attributes have grow to be even a lot more essential in these times of the ongoing pandemic, when so a lot of of us have dropped anyone we adore. What AI cannot do away with that soreness of reduction, it can definitely make their reminiscences last.”

Prasad called it “one of the new abilities we’re working on, which allows long lasting particular associations.”



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