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Google’s DeepMind learns to reproduce human speech, tricks us into starting robot apocalypse
Google’s DeepMind AI division is famous for defeating the Go world champion and for performing medical research with the UK’s NHS. But the team has developed a very impressive new technology, that allows the AI, or deep neural network, to mimic human speech.
Talking to our robots, and them answering us back, has been a sort of dream for the field of artificial intelligence. In recent years the technology has gotten better, as most of you know from Siri, Cortana or Google Now voice interactions. But even our powerful digital assistants still rely on pre-recorded human voices, or they quickly turn cold and robotic.
However, the work done by the DeepMind engineers may help change that forever. The team decided to put speech synthesis through a deep neural network, something that wasn’t expected to really work. The result was an algorithm that could understand the way sounds follow each other on different timescales during speech in English and Mandarin. And what’s even more surprising is that the resulting program can seemingly outperform current state of the art systems.