Throughout Pakistan’s election period, Imran Khan, the nation’s ex-Prime Minister, remained incarcerated, rendered ineligible to compete in an election that specialists have deemed among the most questionable in the nation’s 76 years of history.

Despite his imprisonment, Khan has effectively mobilized his supporters recently, utilizing artificial intelligence to create speeches that mimic his voice. This cutting-edge approach forms a key part of his party’s strategy to sidestep the military’s strict restrictions.

On Saturday, with preliminary results indicating a surprising lead for candidates from his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and throwing the nation’s political landscape into turmoil, it was the artificial intelligence-generated voice of Mr. Khan that announced the victory.

Some highlighted words in his AI speech include: “I had full confidence that you would all come out to vote. You fulfilled my faith in you, and your massive turnout has stunned everybody.” The speech was delivered in his slightly robotic but mellow voice with historic images and footage of Khan running alongside his voice. The video also clearly labeled itself as AI-generated content.

The speech also earned Khan’s supporters to win and reject the claims of victory by his rival in the opposing party, Nawaz Sharif.

Although the growing power of AI and its ability to mislead shows great promise in terms of circumventing censorship, it also raises concerns about its potential dangers. Khan’s video demonstrates how easy it is to create misleading content these days, especially if it isn’t labeled as AI-generated.

Toby Walsh, a professor at the University of New South Wales and the author of “Faking It: Artificial Intelligence in a Human World” said: “In this case, it’s for a good end, perhaps an end we’d support — someone who’s locked up on trumped-up charges of corruption being able to speak to his supporters. But at the same time, it’s undermining our belief in the things we see and hear.”

Imran Khan fell from power in 2022 and was jailed in 2023 over accusations of leaking state secrets and other allegations. Khan’s followers claim that this plot against Khan has been laid by the country’s military, a claim which is rejected by the military.

Imran Khan has since been speaking to his followers using his AI voice.

Via: New York Times