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Want To Talk Your Dead Grandma? Amazon Alexa Has A New Feature In The Works To Communicate In The Afterlife

Are you missing a loved one or family member? Well, people may soon be able to have their deceased relative read the latest news headline with the introduction of Amazon Alexa’s new technology (If your mind immediately went to “Black Mirror,” you’re not alone. We thought the same thing). During Amazon’s re:MARS conference, the tech giant announced that the new feature would be a way for users to hold on to their fondest memories by connecting to familiar voices in the afterlife. During his presentation, Senior Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa Artificial Intelligence, Rohit Prasad, showed how the new voice options could mimic the voice of a dead relative. Once Alexa listens to the voice for at least one minute, the smart assistant can simulate the desired voice when speaking. Making the seemingly eerie technology real, a video of the upcoming Alexa feature showed a child asking their grandmother to read them “The Wizard of Oz.” Immediately recognizing the request, Alexa’s...

Josh Rodgers

Jun 23, 2022

Serial Entrepreneur Chandell Stone Uses Tech to Source Talent From Africa For Job Opportunities

Outsourcing staff for businesses is a common practice for big companies, but the rise of technology has made it a more accessible option for small businesses and entrepreneurs to rely on. On account of technology, opening up outsourcing opportunities to companies in places beyond the United States has proven to be a viable solution to help entrepreneurs increase their productivity. Thanks to founder Chandell Stone and her many entrepreneurial efforts to support her community, her and her company — Stone Solutions — have been able to spotlight the amazing things happening in Africa. Stone — a Harvard graduate and teacher — studied technology and innovation in school and decided to invest that knowledge into her businesses to provide opportunities for others. Stone previously founded her other company — Destination Impact — which helps under-resourced communities across Africa access food, housing, and quality education. Through this effort, she’s been able to provide non-traditional...

Njera Perkins

Aug 28, 2020

United Nations Study Reveals The Problem With Female Voice Assistants

Most voice assistants are gendered. From Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana, virtual assistants generally default to female voices. Now, a new report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization highlights why that’s such a problem. The report — “I’d blush If I could: Closing Gender Divides in Digital Skills Through Education” — examined gender bias coded in tech describing the problem as “pervasive in the technology sector and apparent in digital skills education.” Critiques of female virtual assistants have often noted how using a female voice perpetuates the idea that women are meant to be docile servants — or even digital slaves. After all, voice assistants often take a myriad of abuse without the ability to ever snap back. It may seem trivial, but researchers honed in on one disturbing aspect: voice assistants’ responses to sexual harassment. For example, when Siri is told, “You’re a slut,” one of the responses includes, “I’d blush...

Vanessa Taylor

May 24, 2019