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Amazon Will Design Alexa So It Can Imitate Other People's Voices

Amazon.com Inc. wanted to give customers the opportunity to set Alexa, the voice assistant now the company's flagship product, to sound like their grandmother. Maybe the voice of the customer himself. Not even anyone's voice.

Reported by Reuters on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, the company is developing a system so that Alexa can imitate any sound after listening to audio for less than a minute. That's what Rohit Prasad, Amazon's senior vice president, said at a conference the company held in Las Vegas.

According to Prasad, the aim is to perpetuate memories after so many of us lost someone we love during the raging Covid-19 Pandemic.

Prasad says Alexa is "generalizable intelligence," or a system capable of adapting to the user's environment and learning new concepts with little external input.

Unfortunately, today's technology has raised concerns of abuse despite its great benefits. Microsoft Corp., for example, recently restricted areas of business that use its software to parrot voices.

Its purpose is to help people with speech disorders or other problems. But some fear it could also be used to spread political lies.

Amazon hopes this project will help Alexa become the friend of shoppers' lives. However, the public's attention has shifted to the news that is going viral on Google.

An engineer at Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, makes the claim that the company's AI chat system has evolved to have feelings and sense.

Obviously, that statement is opposed by many technologists. Experts think that Google's AI LAMDA system, because it's so sophisticated, can follow the flow of the chat as we intended.

On Tuesday, June 21, 2022, another Amazon executive said that Alexa had 100 million subscribers globally, in line with the company's predicted numbers for device sales since January 2019.

Amazon shared its vision of making friends with Alexa at the conference. In a video segment, a child is depicted asking, "Alexa, can you finish reading me Wizard of Oz?"

Alexa confirms the command and changes her voice. She spoke calmly, unlike a robot, as if she sounded like your real-life grandma.

Photo: Pixabay

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