AI allowed Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan to campaign from behind bars on Monday, with a voice clone of the opposition leader giving an impassioned speech on his behalf. From a report: Khan has been locked up since August and is being tried for leaking classified documents, allegations he says have been trumped up to stop him contesting general elections due in February. His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party used artificial intelligence to make a four-minute message from the 71-year-old, headlining a “virtual rally” hosted on social media overnight on Sunday into Monday despite internet disruptions that monitor NetBlocks said were consistent with previous attempts to censor Khan.
PTI said Khan sent a shorthand script through lawyers that was fleshed out into his rhetorical style. The text was then dubbed into audio using a tool from the AI firm ElevenLabs, which boasts the ability to create a “voice clone” from existing speech samples. “My fellow Pakistanis, I would first like to praise the social media team for this historic attempt,” the voice mimicking Khan said. “Maybe you all are wondering how I am doing in jail,” the stilted voice adds. “Today, my determination for real freedom is very strong.” The audio was broadcast at the end of a five-hour live-stream of speeches by PTI supporters on Facebook, X and YouTube, and was overlaid with historic footage of Khan and still images.
There is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.