“Hey Sam, wake me up at 7am”
The robots are taking over. That’s what some people say, now that so many of us are reliant on computers in our pockets and voice assistants in our home. And chatting to your friendly Alexa does still feel a bit future-tech weird, especially with her robotic replies.
Well Amazon are aiming to bring a bit more humanity to the Skynet revolution following an announcement that Hollywood-legend Samuel L. Jackson will be voicing our smart speakers. Jackson’s voice will be an optional download available later this year for a one off payment of 99p. There will be an option for clean and explicit modes, mainly because Sam’s quotes just don’t sound quite the same with out a few bad words thrown in.
Samuel L. Jackson will be the first of a number of celebrity voices coming to Amazon Echos. Amazon unveiled the new voice packs at an event in Seattle this week as part of their plans to make Alexa sound more human and natural.
Here’s the clever/spooky bit – Sam Jackson hasn’t actually pre-recorded any of the sounds. New Neural Text-to-Speech tech allows the software to replicate speech inflections of real people, so the device is synthesising his speech inflections in real time.
Once you download the voice pack, you just have to say “Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson’, and then you can choose whether you want the clean or cuss version.
From what we’ve read, unfortunately it seems Jackson’s voice can’t replicate all of Alexa, but you will be able say commands such as: “Alexa, ask Sam to wake me up at 7am”, pr “Alexa, ask Sam to get me the recipe for a Big Kahuna burger”.
“Hey Sam, stop swearing at my kids”.
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