Connect with us

Tech

Exclusive: Amazon shows off Alexa feature that mimics the voices of your dead relatives

Published

on

Amazon shows off Alexa feature that mimics the voices of your dead relatives

#Amazon #shows #Alexa #feature #mimics #voices #dead #relatives

Amazon has revealed an experimental Alexa feature that allows the AI assistant to mimic the voices of users’ dead relatives.

The company demoed the feature at its annual MARS conference, showing a video in which a child asks Alexa to read a bedtime story in the voice of his dead grandmother.

“As you saw in this experience, instead of Alexa’s voice reading the book, it’s the kid’s grandma’s voice,” said Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa AI. Prasad introduced the clip by saying that adding “human attributes” to AI systems was increasingly important “in these times of the ongoing pandemic, when so many of us have lost someone we love.”

“While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last,” said Prasad. You can watch the demo itself below:

Amazon has given no indication whether this feature will ever be made public, but says its systems can learn to imitate someone’s voice from just a single minute of recorded audio. In an age of abundant videos and voice notes, this means it’s well within the average consumer’s reach to clone the voices of loved ones — or anyone else they like.

Although this specific application is already controversial, with users on social media calling the feature “creepy” and a “monstrosity,” such AI voice mimicry has become increasingly common in recent years. These imitations are often known as “audio deepfakes” and are already regularly used in industries like podcasting, film and TV, and video games.

Many audio recording suites, for example, offer users the option to clone individual voices from their recordings. That way, if a podcast host flubs her or his line, for example, a sound engineer can edit what they’ve said simply by typing in a new script. Replicating lines of seamless speech requires a lot of work, but very small edits can be made with a few clicks.

The same technology has been used in film, too. Last year, it was revealed that a documentary about the life of chef Anthony Bourdain, who died in 2018, used AI to clone his voice in order to read quotes from emails he sent. Many fans were disgusted by the application of the technology, calling it “ghoulish” and “deceptive.” Others defended the use of the technology as similar to other reconstructions used in documentaries.

Advertisement

Amazon’s Prasad said the feature could enable customers to have “lasting personal relationships” with the deceased, and it’s certainly true that many people around the world are already using AI for this purpose. People have already created chatbots that imitate dead loved ones, for example, training AI based on stored conversations. Adding accurate voices to these systems — or even video avatars — is entirely possible using today’s AI technology, and is likely to become more widespread.

However, whether or not customers will want their dead loved ones to become digital AI puppets is another matter entirely.

Tech

Exclusive: Why I’m skipping the iPhone 14 and holding onto my mini for another year – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

iPhone 13 mini cameras

#skipping #iPhone #holding #mini #year

Continue Reading

Tech

Exclusive: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Opening Titles Still Somehow Rule as an N64 Game – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Opening Titles Still Somehow Rule as an N64 Game

#Star #Trek #Deep #Space #Nine039s #Opening #Titles #Rule #N64 #Game

Star Trek has had an up-and-down history with video games, sometimes managing to succeed in gaming genres it arguably shouldn’t, while never managing to quite succeed in the ones it should. There’s been plenty of great ones, but now a very cool little animation imagines one of its finest entries getting a ‘90s tie-in that never was.

Twitter user SpinaSanctuary’s hypothetical title screen for a mid-’90s Deep Space Nine game on the Nintendo 64 imagines a sideways glance where the platform that gave us Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire instead took a visit to the Gamma Quadrant for some licensed gaming goodness, essentially riffing on the opening moments of Deep Space Nine’s own title sequence, but in a gloriously polygonal retro style.

What could’ve Star Trek 64: Deep Space Nine even been? An adventure game aboard the station? A starship strategy game set during the Dominion War? A retail management sim dedicated to the Promenade á la Roller Coaster Tycoon or Theme Park World? A first person shooter like Voyager got with the Elite Force games, that shouldn’t make sense, but totally does? Whatever it would’ve been, this cute little “demake” has me wishing we could’ve found out.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Continue Reading

Tech

Exclusive: Amazon Prime subscribers now get GrubHub Plus free for a year – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Amazon Prime subscribers now get GrubHub Plus free for a year

#Amazon #Prime #subscribers #GrubHub #free #year

Amazon Prime subscribers in the US are getting a new benefit as part of their subscription, the company has announced. From today, they’ll be able to redeem a free year of Grubhub Plus, the monthly subscription service that offers free food delivery on orders over $12 from participating restaurants. Grubhub Plus normally costs $9.99 a month.

According to Amazon, free deliveries associated with Grubhub Plus are available from hundreds of thousands of restaurants across over 4,000 cities in the US. After the year is up, Grubhub will automatically start charging $9.99 a month for continued access. Existing Grubhub Plus subscribers can still make use of the promotion, which will be applied from the start of their next billing cycle. Canceling Prime automatically cancels Grubhub Plus.

The deal comes just a few short years after Amazon shut down Amazon Restaurants, its own attempt to compete in the takeout delivery market. The service was live between 2015 and 2019 but faced stiff competition from the likes of Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Since then, the e-commerce giant has mainly focused on grocery deliveries, but has kept a toe in the takeout delivery market through partnerships with other firms. It announced an investment in Europe-focused Deliveroo in 2019, and started offering access to its Deliveroo Plus subscription service as an additional perk for Prime members in the UK last year.

“Amazon has redefined convenience with Prime and we’re confident this offering will expose many new diners to the value of Grubhub Plus while driving more business to our restaurant partners and drivers,” Grubhub CEO Adam DeWitt said in a statement. The company, which is owned by Just Eat Takeaway.com, says it expects Grubhub Plus subscriptions to rise as a result of the deal.

GrubHub Plus isn’t the only additional benefit Amazon is announcing for Prime members today. The e-commerce giant is also making a short teaser trailer for its upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power available exclusively to Prime subscribers for 48 hours. Members can watch the teaser over on the show’s Amazon page. The trailer ends by promising yet another teaser is coming on July 14th ahead of the release of the series on September 2nd.

Continue Reading

Exclusive

Copyright © 2022 Talk Of News.