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 technological innovation at Amazon re:MARS

LAS VEGAS — A short video of a boy or girl inquiring Alexa to have his grandma read the Wizard of Oz is generating much more than its share of buzz following Amazon spelled out that the voice was essentially a simulation.

To make it transpire, Amazon “had to understand to make a significant-high-quality voice with much less than a moment of recording vs . hours of recording in a studio,” explained Rohit Prasad, Alexa AI senior vice president and head scientist, during a keynote tackle Wednesday morning at the company’s re:MARS convention in Las Vegas.

Amazon is not saying when the ability could be produced as an Alexa element, or what varieties of safeguards may well accompany a rollout. AI-created synthesized voices have raised concerns about the opportunity for abuse, perhaps being misused to trick people into thinking other folks had mentioned one thing they hadn’t.

A established of “Responsible AI” rules released this 7 days by Microsoft outlines a series of safeguards from possible misuse of synthetic voices.

Prasad hinted at the underlying specialized technique employed by Amazon for the capacity, stating that the crucial was “framing the issue as a voice-conversion task, and not a speech-era job.”

Introducing the demo, he described the know-how as a way to protect the recollections of beloved ones, expressing it’s portion of a increasing recognition of the function that Alexa can provide as a companion.

“In this companionship purpose, human attributes of empathy and have an affect on are key for making trust,” he mentioned. “These attributes have grow to be even additional essential in these periods of the ongoing pandemic, when so quite a few of us have dropped somebody we love. What AI just cannot do away with that pain of decline, it can definitely make their memories very last.”

Prasad called it “one of the new capabilities we’re operating on, which permits long lasting particular associations.”


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