Loading...

Amazon plans to channel voices of dead loved ones on Alexa - and people are comparing it to Black Mirror

Amazon is introducing a new Alexa feature where she can mimic the voice of someone close to you - even someone who has passed away

Thousands of users reported problems with the smart home devices this morning.
Thousands of users reported problems with the smart home devices this morning.

Amazon launched their virtual assistant Alexa, which has a robotic women’s voice, back in 2014.

In 2021, 65 million Amazon Alexa speakers were sold worldwide - up from 54 million in the previous year.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

Customers can ask their Alexa device any question as well as ask it to do tasks including adding things to their personal shopping basket or list.

Alexa has been said to have a great sense of humour as it amuses users with short stories, jokes and facts.

Alexa is also primarily a smart speaker that can play music on demand from both Spotify and Amazon Music.

In 2016, Alexa only had 130 skills - and by 2021, her skills increased above 37,000 for those using the device in the UK.

Now, the online retailer is developing a new feature where Alexa can mimic any voice after hearing less than a minute of audio - including the voice of someone who has previously passed away.

Rohit Prasad, an Amazon senior vice president, said that the goal is to "make the memories last" after "so many of us have lost someone we love" during the pandemic.

It has not yet been confirmed when the new feature will be rolled out - but after CNBC posted the news via Twitter, many users shared their opinions.

One user spoke of their worries about false evidence in court.

Many Twitter users have compared the new feature to episodes from dystopian series‘Black Mirror’.

What’s the Black Mirror reference about?

For anyone who hasn’t seen Black Mirror, it’s an anthology series from Charlie Brooker that began on Channel 4 and moved to Netflix, all about stories involving dystopian technology - and it’s pretty creepy.

In episode one (Be Right Back) of the second season, grieving Martha learns about a virtual service which will let her stay in touch with her deceased lover.

The series explores our connection to technology further in season five, episode three, after pop star idol Ashley O’s entire consciousness is uploaded to the Cloud.

One devotee finds themselves speaking directly to Ashley through her Android companion - despite news reports that the real-life celebrity is hospitalised.