Amazon makes use of child’s useless grandma in morbid demo of Alexa audio deepfake

Home Latest Posts Amazon makes use of child’s useless grandma in morbid demo of Alexa audio deepfake
Amazon makes use of child’s useless grandma in morbid demo of Alexa audio deepfake
Amazon makes use of child’s useless grandma in morbid demo of Alexa audio deepfake

Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4
Zoom / Amazon Echo Dot 4th era good speaker.


Amazon is determining methods to make its Alexa voice assistant deep faux the voice of anybody, useless or alive, with only a brief recording. The corporate demoed the characteristic on the re:Mars convention in Las Vegas on Wednesday, utilizing the emotional trauma of the continuing pandemic and grief to promote the profit.

Re Amazon: Mars focuses on synthetic intelligence, machine studying, robotics, and different rising applied sciences, with tech specialists and trade leaders taking the stage. In the course of the second day’s keynote, Rohit Prasad, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist of Alexa AI at Amazon, showcased a characteristic being developed for Alexa.

Within the demo, one of many children asks Alexa, “Can Grandma finish reading me wizard of oz“Okay,” Alexa replies in her typical female robotic voice. However then the kid’s grandmother’s voice comes out from the speaker to learn the story of L. Frank Baum.

You possibly can watch the demo beneath:

Amazon concerning: March 2022 – Day 2 – Predominant Thought.

Prasad solely stated that Amazon is “working on” the Alexa functionality and didn’t specify how a lot work stays and when/if will probably be accessible.

However he offered refined technical particulars.

“This required an invention where we had to learn to produce high-quality sound with less than a minute of recording versus hours of recording in the studio,” he stated. “The way we’ve achieved this is by framing the problem as a voice transduction task rather than a speech generation task.”

Prasad briefly discusses how the feature works.
Zoom / Prasad briefly discusses how the characteristic works.

In fact, deepfakes have earned a controversial popularity. Nevertheless, there was some effort to make use of expertise as a software reasonably than a way of intimidation.

Audio deepfakes have been particularly used, as The Verge has identified, within the media to assist make up for time, for instance, when a media participant tampers with a line or when the star of a mission out of the blue dies, as occurred with the Anthony Bourdain documentary. Woodpecker.

The submit famous that there have been instances of individuals utilizing synthetic intelligence to create chatbots that talk as in the event that they have been a misplaced beloved one.

Alexa will not even be the primary client product to make use of deep voice to fill in a member of the family who cannot be there in individual. The Takara Tomy good speaker, Gizmodo famous, makes use of synthetic intelligence to learn youngsters’s bedtime tales in a father or mother’s voice. Mother and father are stated to boost their voices, so to talk, by studying a textual content for about quarter-hour. Though this differs markedly from Amazon’s demo, the place the product proprietor decides to current their singing reasonably than the product utilizing the voice of somebody who seemingly would not have the ability to grant permission.

In addition to considerations that deepfakes expertise will probably be used for scams, theft and different nefarious actions, there are literally some troubling issues about how Amazon is framing the characteristic, which does not have a launch date but.

Earlier than displaying the demo, Prasad talked about giving Alexa customers a “companionship relationship.”

“In this companionship role, the human qualities of empathy and influence are key to building trust,” the CEO stated. “These traits are even more important in these times of ongoing pandemic, when so many of us have lost someone we love. While AI can’t eliminate the pain of loss, it can certainly make their memories last.”

Prasad added that the characteristic “enables the establishment of lasting personal relationships”.

It’s true that numerous individuals are significantly in search of “empathy and affection” in people in response to the emotional misery initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, Amazon’s AI voice assistant will not be the place to fulfill these human wants. Alexa additionally can not allow “enduring personal relationships” with people who find themselves not with us.

It isn’t onerous to consider that there are good intentions behind this innovative characteristic and listening to the voice of somebody you miss is usually a big reduction. We might even see ourselves having fun with a characteristic like this, in concept. Alexa made it seem like he stated one thing foolish, innocent. As mentioned above, there are different firms that make the most of deepfake expertise in methods much like what Amazon has supplied.

However framing Alexa’s growing potential as a strategy to revive contact with late members of the family is an unrealistic and problematic large leap. In the meantime, pulling on the guts strings by bringing on the unhappiness and loneliness related to the pandemic is gratuitous. There are some locations Amazon would not belong, and grief recommendation is one in all them.

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