Amazon’s Alexa, which can read in the voice of a deceased loved one, takes less than a minute to learn

A child told Alexa, Amazon's smart voice assistant, to listen to the bedtime story "The Wizard of Oz", but the sound coming from the speaker was not the mechanical sound of voice assistants, but the voice of the child's deceased grandmother.

The ability to reproduce the voices of deceased loved ones is a new feature of Amazon's smart assistant. At the recent Amazon re:MARS conference, Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and chief scientist of Alexa, said that with the new technology, Amazon can generate and output the desired sound with just one minute of recording.

▲ Picture from: TechCrunch

MARS in re:MARS, stands for Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space. In addition to a slew of new features coming to Amazon's smart assistant, there were quite a few new things coming out at the conference.

As a retail giant, warehouse robots are very important to Amazon. Following the acquisition of Kiva Systems, Amazon formed a robotics division that has deployed more than 520,000 robotic-driven units in fulfillment and sorting centers.

▲ Picture from: Forbes

At re:MARS, Amazon's head of robotics, Tye Brady, presented the future of automated systems, mentioning several robots.

One of the fully automated warehouse robots, called "Proteus," is designed to move around Amazon's facilities on its own while carrying carts full of packages. With advanced safety, perception and navigation technology, the robot is able to get the job done without getting in the way of human employees.

▲ Picture from: TechCrunch

The "Proteus", which is similar in shape to a sweeping robot, can not only move under a cart full of packages and lift it up, it will emit a green light in front of it as it moves, and it will stop if the worker is in front of the light.

Amazon said Proteus will initially be deployed in outbound GoCart processing areas in the company's fulfillment centers and sorting centers, and hopes to automate GoCart processing across the network.

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Automating the handling of these package carts helps reduce the need for workers to manually move heavy items around the facility, allowing them to focus on more valuable work, and also creating a safer workplace for people.

▲ Picture from: Amazon

In Amazon's warehouses, Proteus moves the packages, and Cardinal does the sorting. Using artificial intelligence and computer vision, it can pick up packages, read tags, and place them in the appropriate cart for the next stage of the shipping process.

▲ Picture from: Amazon

Amazon is currently testing the sorting of packages weighing up to 50 pounds, and expects to deploy robotic arms in fulfillment center sorting facilities by next year.

In addition, Amazon demonstrated an artificial intelligence technology that can automatically scan packages, powered by computer vision and machine learning techniques.

▲ Picture from: Amazon

There is no need for workers to scan barcodes on packages with manual scanners as before. With this scanning capability, there is no need to pause when sorting packages, and the cameras run at 120 frames per second, allowing the system to quickly identify through Camera package. As a result, employees have greater mobility in their work and a lower risk of possible injury.

The emergence of new technologies is naturally good, but we are also alert to the "dangers" lurking in technological development. For example, some people worry that these robots may replace the jobs of workers, but from the perspective of the role of these robots, they are more like "assistance" rather than "replacement".

▲ Picture from: Amazon

However, Amazon has not disclosed more details about the new functions of the smart assistant Alexa, but Alexa has many users, and if it only needs less than a minute of recording to make other people's voices, it may be able to use it to make up for the relationship with loved ones. It's a pity, but some users may not hear the wonderful fairy tales like "The Wizard of Oz" like the children in the demo.

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