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Amazon Alexa to soon read stories in your grandma’s voice

Las Vegas, June 23 (IANS) Amazon is working on a new Alexa feature that will let the virtual assistant mimic the voice of your family member and then speak or read your favourite bedtime stories at sleep time.

Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s Senior Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, said that we are unquestionably living in the golden era of AI, where our dreams and science fictions are becoming a reality.

At the company’s annual ‘re:Mars’ conference in Las Vegas late on Wednesday, Prasad said that to achieve this feat, Alexa team used just one minute of speech.

“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.

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

Alexa said yes and then immediately changed her voice, sounding like the kid’s grandmother in real life.

The Alexa feature is currently in the works.

Amazon has announced to host its annual Alexa Live event for developers on July 20 and we may hear more about it then.

Alexa Live 2022 will provide attendees with a deep dive behind the science powering 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 out there with customers around the world.

People are using Alexa to play their favourite songs, read the latest headlines, dim the lights in their living rooms, and lots more.


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