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Yesterday (Wednesday 22 June), during Amazon’s re:MARS conference senior vice president and head scientist of Alexa Rohit Prasad previewed the new function, according to TechCrunch+.
While showing off the new ground-breaking technology in a demonstration video, a child is seen asking, ‘Alexa, can Grandma finish reading me the Wizard of Oz?’
Upon the child’s demand, Alexa begins talking in a robotic tone, then smoothly transitions into the late relative’s voice.
We understand that this is a clever piece of equipment, but we have to admit, it's extremely hair-raising.
“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,” Prasad explained.
“The way we made it happen is by framing the problem as a voice conversion task and not a speech generation path. We are unquestionably living in the golden era of artificial intelligence, where our dreams and science fictions are becoming a reality.”
CNBC reports that during the conference Prasad also shared that creating artificial intelligence to provide comfort has been a critical goal for the virtual assistant technology, especially when ‘so many of us have lost someone we love' during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The senior vice president added that while Alexa can’t ‘eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make the memories last.’
While there are no details of when this feature will be available with the tech industry evolving rapidly, we wouldn’t be surprised if this mind-blogging invention will be accessible soon.
Along with providing a sneak-peek into Alexa’s new update, Amazon unveiled their first autonomous warehouse robots, Proteus and Cardinal.
The company said via a press release about the new robotic systems: “Proteus will initially be deployed in the outbound GoCart handling areas in our fulfillment centers and sort centers.
“Our vision is to automate GoCart handling throughout the network, which will help reduce the need for people to manually move heavy objects through our facility and instead let them focus on more rewarding work.”
Whereas Cardinal can recognise and organise luggage/packages into categories to help ‘reduce the risk of employee injuries’.
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