Photo: YouTube/タカラトミー TAKARATOMY
tech

Japanese AI device reads stories to your kid with your voice, even if you’ve never read them

18 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy’s playthings often have a technological side to them, like a photo sticker booth with a time travel mode that takes you back to the ‘90s or a dancing Pikachu robot. Takara Tomy’s newest creation, though, is especially hi-tech.

The Coemo’s name is a play on words with koe, the Japanese word for “voice.” So what does the egg-shaped device do? It tells stories to your kids, using your voice, even if you’ve never spoken the story’s words yourself.

Screen-Shot-2022-05-28-at-11.12.06.png

It does this through an AI system that synthesizes your voice, then matches the inflection and intonation to provide proper emotion to the stories it tells. To set things up, first you use the Koe Station smartphone app and register your voice by reading a sample passage of text. Supplied with the audio sample, Koe Station can create a vocal profile for you, which you then export to the Ceomo app and send to the Coemo device.

Screen-Shot-2022-05-28-at-11.13.07.png

The app also lets you select one of the 45 stories Coemo comes pre-loaded with, including both original stores and fairy and folktales from both Japan and abroad, such as "Momotaro/Peach Boy," "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs." Once you’ve registered your voice and selected a story, the AI generates narration from your voice profile, which plays out of the device’s speakers. You can even register multiple voices with a single Coemo, allowing you to assign grandma, grandpa, or other relatives who’ve created a vocal profile as the storyteller for different tales.

▼ Video of the Coemo in action

Coemo goes on sale this fall, priced at 12,980 yen, with preorders stating June 14. No word on whether or not it’s compatible with Takara Tomy’s robo grandchildren.

Source: Press release

Images: YouTube/タカラトミー TAKARATOMY

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Speak up! Japanese art-sharing site Pixiv now lets you try your hand at voice acting too

-- Pikachu Outbreak home robot walks, talks, and sings when you call to it【Video】

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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Right, because you'll be too busy to read them a story. Sad times.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I really hope this device and the systems used in it have top grade security mechanisms, there is a huge risk of it being used by criminals if they are able to hack into the account, get the address, phone number, etc. And could make phone calls with the voice of the parent telling the children anything a criminal would want, like "leave the door open, I forgot my keys"

5 ( +7 / -2 )

So wrong! But someone’s gotta sell rubbish.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Capturing a parent or grandparent's voice for story time if they live far away or are out of town for work might be comforting.

So make a voice recording for the child yourself, at least then you've put in the time and effort.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Takara Tomy have missed something - like everything that goes with the voice: proximity, non-verbal interactivity, visual image, olfactory and touch

Another transient toy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is right out of Black Mirror. The person’s mind trapped inside the egg is called a cookie.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hope they do get to read Winnie the Pooh, Blood and Honey

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That’s quite dangerous. Remember that news only a few weeks ago, when someone fed his AI with own childhood stories and phantasies he read and liked, and then the AI wants kill him ordering him to go into the microwave and that device being switched on? There are several cases, that AI is interesting and delivered funny results and responses but at a closer look they are very tricky, brutal and aggressive, like the originals, the humans and developers of those systems, are deep inside their soul and mind throughout all history epochs. In other words, the AI is of course only a virtual copy of our daily reality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Creepy! buying this is like accepting you are not going to put any effort in raising your kids.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Banks are starting to record your voice so that their software can, in theory, determine that it is you phoning them. Given the general failure of both biometrics and banking software, I expect that will be another disaster.

Still, a device that can synthesise your voice will then become a potential security issue, quite aside from using it to deep fake your voice in a wider context.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Part of having a child is all the experiences that go with that; reading,cycling, swimming, hiking , going to movies-assign those and more to a machine and those memories and bonds are not made..,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some animation has been already made about this.

Love, Death and Robots - Vol. 3 Episode - Hoover i think.

Korean anime - Aachi & Ssipak

1 ( +1 / -0 )

virusrex has a great point. I hope the chips & other electronic parts are NOT made in china.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So sad how children will become hypnotized by these AI voice machines and become emotionally attached to them instead of their parents.

Pretty soon children wont need parents at all .

AI will be in control of everything from fertilization to the entire life cycle .

AI is taking over in every aspect of human life including - national security , medicine and health , food production , travel etc...

I remember the good old days before the internet.

Of course one cant possible not think of the terminator movies or George Orwell.

Chinese massive world's largest quantum computer is a bit concerning of everything now turning to AI , and especially with Japan salivating anxiously to be a leading nation of AI tech and incorporating it into everything without the public approval.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is sad….

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I can see positive applications for this. Capturing a parent or grandparent's voice for story time if they live far away or are out of town for work might be comforting. Also, if I knew I didn't have a lot of time left, I might leave my voice as a way for my children or grandchildren to keep a part of me in their lives.

I'm a school teacher, and being able to clone myself for story time so I can grade papers or deal with other issues might not be a bad thing either....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

YrralToday  10:57 am JST

Hope they do get to read Winnie the Pooh, Blood and Honey

Dr. Seuss too. One cool thing about this is you can tell the stories in any wild, wonky, eerie, funky, freaky, etc. way or manner you want to. Get the kids laughing.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Casey Baseel said this plaything is very useful because parents give their children comfortable and knowledge by listening to a story of their voice.

I think, there are both advantages and disadvantages.

In advantage aspect, thanks to listen read aloud of Coemo, it will decrease that their children get bored. And even if there children is alone, they can relieve by listening there parents voice. So, I think this plaything is good and I hope to be purchased this playthings by a lot of people.

But, in opposite aspect, this plaything is expensive. And, it may be troublesome to download a app.

So , in my opinion, producer should send out good points of this plaything by using SNS to share ideas that even if this is expensive, this have a lot of value.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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