File under: hell no. Amazon has been working on an update to Alexa that would analyze short audio clips to synthesize and mimic a person's speech.


Amazon is promoting its new voice synthesis feature as a comfort item, but comfort can be abused. If the technology can be used to read a child a story in their grandmother's voice, then it could also be used to read ads in a voice that is highly reminiscent of your grandmother, so that the comfort food they want you to buy comes recommended in a voice you find comforting. Your interpersonal relationship become associative tools for directing you back to an Amazon sales page.

@lrhodes I'm having difficulty articulating why I find the idea of hearing things from the dead's voice so uncomfortable. It definitely is capitalizing on grief, which is awful. I'm not a therapist, but it seems like it could end up hindering people's healing after death if that makes sense?

@Cyborgneticz Absolutely. They seem to be pitching it as a way to ease the loss of a loved one (or maybe even just one that's absent), but even on top of just making harder to come to grips with the loss, it could also confuse a person's memories by making slippery the distinction between what the loved one actually said and what they can be made to say posthumously.

@lrhodes That's another really good point. I'm thinking of my cousins who died n left behind kids. False memories would be so cruel for them to grow up with imo

@lrhodes And while some will shout "paranoia," recent history with the way companies like Amazon do business tells us this is an absolute certainty.

@elfin @lrhodes speaking in the voice of my dead family member -- wasn't this something Satan does in The Exorcist

@lrhodes it is inheretly creepy.

Just goes to show how much of your everyday life they are monitoring, storing, analyzing.

I don't wish Amazon to know my voice.

I wish the company and its owners to burn.

If it starts with "Amazon is promoting", run as fast as you can.
Not kidding.

@lrhodes "associative tools for directing you back to X" so perfectly put. Sadly applies to a LOT of things at the moment. Scary is the thought of all the things that do it, but you wouldn't think, or haven't realized yet.

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