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Amazon’s Alexa may soon be able to read you stories in the voice of your grandma

Source: Flickr

Amazon is developing a new Alexa feature that will allow the virtual assistant to mimic the voice of a family member and then speak or read your favourite bedtime stories before you go to sleep.

According to Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s Senior Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, we are unquestionably living in the golden age of AI, in which our dreams and science fictions are becoming a reality.

Prasad stated at the company’s annual’re:Mars’ conference in Las Vegas late on Wednesday that the Alexa team used only one minute of speech to accomplish this feat.

“This required inventions where we had to learn to produce a high-quality voice with less than a minute of recording versus hours of recording in the studio,” Pradas told the audience.

“The way we made it happen is by framing the problem as a voice conversion task and not a speech generation path,” he added.

“Alexa, can grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?” a child asked during a presentation.

Alexa nodded and immediately changed her tone, sounding more like the child’s grandmother in real life.

The Alexa feature is currently being developed.

Amazon has announced that its annual Alexa Live event for developers will take place on July 20, and we may learn more about it at that time.

Alexa Live 2022 will take attendees on a deep dive into the science that will power the next generation of “ambient intelligence.”

“Our vision for ambient computing can only be realized by extensive collaboration between teams at Alexa and all of our partners,” said Kelly Wenzel, Director of Business to Business and Developer Marketing at Alexa.

“Alexa Live 2022 is our opportunity to showcase the many products, programs, and services we’ve designed specifically to help brands and builders leverage Alexa’s growing footprint to innovate on behalf of customers,” Wenzel added.

There are now hundreds of millions of Alexa devices in use by customers worldwide.

People are using Alexa to play their favourite songs, read the news, dim the lights in their living rooms, and do a variety of other things.

About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.




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