AI speaker clones parents’ voices to read bedtime stories in their stead

Parents telling a bedtime story to their children is a bonding experience as old as time. Bedtime stories have even led to the creation of beloved franchises, such as The Lord of the Rings. However, that could all be replaced by one AI speaker.

Bedtime stories replace parents with AI speaker

Created by Takara Tomy, a new AI speaker is planning on replacing parents in the bedroom. Instead of having an adult read Pinocchio or Cinderella to their own children, that task will instead by taken up by an AI clone.

The speaker, called Coemo, uses artificial intelligence to create a decent deepfake copy of parents’ voices. Coemo is not designed for anything other than childrens’ entertainment, so it won’t be able to tell you the weather or add emergency bog roll to your basket.

Instead, the smart speaker is pre-loaded with 60 different stories and songs. Ranging from nursery rhymes to The Brothers Grimm, the collection is purpose-built for young children.

However, the key feature of the Coemo speaker is how it replicates the voices of parents. Using an Android or iOS app, parents read through a 15-minute script that lets the AI learn their voices quickly.

Read More: VR babies will be commonplace in the future, says AI expert

The Rise of Techno-Parenting

Takara Tomy’s AI speaker is part of a new trend of consumer electronics: techno-parenting. Instead of reading to a child yourself, get a device to do it for you!

At least this form of techno-parenting is optional. In some regions, such as China, techno-parenting is becoming government mandated, using tools like facial recognition to stop children from spending more than a few hours a week gaming.

This AI smart speaker may seem harmless. However, as young children seek attention from their parents, using technology to replace integral bonding activities may prove to be dangerous. 

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