Alexa, call Grandma.
Missing your dead loved ones? Fear not: Amazon’s multifunctional AI assistant Alexa may soon be here to help with a cutting-edge new feature that will allow you to “talk” to the dead.
Specifically, DigitalHelper will channel the deceased as a digital medium to develop technology to speak to people in the voices of their dearly departed friends and family, The Independent reported.
Amazon announced the macabre impersonation ceremony at Amazon’s MARS conference on Wednesday, touting it as a way to “make memories last.”
According to CNET, after listening to the deceased’s audio for just a minute, Alexa may be able to recreate their voice completely. A video promo for the feature shows a child asking Alexa to “Grandma read me the ‘Wizard of Oz’,” where the cybernetic impressionist immediately adjusts her voice to a more soothing, less monotone tone while reading the book. does.
Amazon emphasized in the announcement that Alexa’s dead cosplay “won’t eliminate the pain of loss.” However, the commerce giant stressed that it would help loved ones stay on our minds, citing the fact that “many of us have lost someone we love,” especially in the wake of the pandemic. during.
The morbid-seeming feature, which is still in development, was met with skepticism on Twitter. With the flair of a critic, “Because of course what makes ‘memories last’ are endless digital replicas of them.”
“Uploading old voicemails so I can program Alexa to keep my dead Grandparents say ‘Be careful! Precaution!’ 3 in the morning,” quipped another.
Other opponents compared it to the “Be Right Back” episode of the dystopian British TV show “Black Mirror”, in which a woman orders an AI replica of her dead husband.
“‘Black Mirror’ literally did a whole episode about why it’s a terrible idea,” One critic said, while the other wrote“‘Black Mirror’ is supposed to be a warning, not a pitch.”
Amazon has yet to announce when this new feature will roll out, or whether it will be available to the public.