I Hear Dead People
Jeff Bezos has found a way to monetize dead people AND the grief of their survivors:
Propped atop a bedside table during this week’s Amazon tech summit, an Echo Dot was asked to complete a task: “Alexa, can Grandma finish reading me ‘The Wizard of Oz’?”
Alexa’s typically cheery voice boomed from the kids-themed smart speaker with a panda design: “Okay!” Then, as the device began narrating a scene of the Cowardly Lion begging for courage, Alexa’s robotic twang was replaced by a more human-sounding narrator.
“Instead of Alexa’s voice reading the book, it’s the kid’s grandma’s voice,” Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist of Alexa artificial intelligence, excitedly explained Wednesday during a keynote speech in Las Vegas.
But, besides being totally ghoulish, it has other awful implications:
“I don’t feel our world is ready for user-friendly voice-cloning technology,” Rachel Tobac, chief executive of the San Francisco-based SocialProof Security, told The Washington Post. Such technology, she added, could be used to manipulate the public through fake audio or video clips.
“If a cybercriminal can easily and credibly replicate another person’s voice with a small voice sample, they can use that voice sample to impersonate other individuals,” added Tobac, a cybersecurity expert. “That bad actor can then trick others into believing they are the person they are impersonating, which can lead to fraud, data loss, account takeover and more.”
Or just a whole new level of stalking, and you know that’s coming.