AI Clone Campaigns for Imprisoned Imran Khan in Pakistan.

In a unique political move, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to campaign from behind bars. Using an AI tool created by ElevenLabs, Khan’s political party created a “voice clone” to deliver an impassioned speech on his behalf. This AI-led initiative is seen as an attempt to circumnavigate state censorship and continue political campaigning amid Khan’s imprisonment under allegations of leaking classified documents.

  • Khan’s political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), used an AI tool from ElevenLabs to replicate Khan’s voice from existing speech samples.
  • The AI-assisted speech was broadcasted during a five-hour live stream consisting of speeches by PTI supporters on Facebook, X, and YouTube, garnering over 4.5 million views despite internet disruptions.
  • Despite concerns over the use of AI in misrepresenting political leaders, the move by PTI reflects how the technology can be used to counter state suppression.
  • Khan’s use of social media reflects PTI’s tech-savvy approach to political campaigning, having utilized various apps to target younger audiences in the past.
  • Pakistan’s election commission confirmed that elections will be held on 8 February despite Khan being ousted as leader of PTI while in prison.

Despite mixed reactions from listeners – some praising the effort, and others skeptical of the authenticity – PTI’s use of AI in campaign efforts demonstrates the evolving role of technology in political strategy and communication. This move certainly highlights the merging of political and digital arenas and raises pertinent questions about the ethical implications of AI in politics.