Imran Khan, behind bars, rallies votes with AI-crafted speech.

  • Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan used artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver a campaign speech from prison.
  • The AI-crafted speech was a part of a ‘virtual rally’ held on social media, despite internet disruptions.
  • The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party employed AI to produce a four-minute message delivered by a voice clone of Khan.

In an unprecedented move, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, took advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to deliver a campaign speech despite being detained in prison. His party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), used AI to synthesize a four-minute message that was then broadcast as part of a ‘virtual rally.’

The AI-developed speech, given in Khan’s voice, was promoted on social media from Sunday night into Monday, demonstrating the PTI party’s ingenuity in leveraging emerging technologies. However, the online event was marred by internet disruptions, characterized by the Internet’s observatory NetBlocks as consistent with previous attempts at censoring Khan.

Khan’s innovative use of AI reflects the increasingly important role that technology plays in politics and election campaigns. By using a voice clone of Khan, the PTI party was able to convey the message of their leader, bypassing his physical absence due to confinement. This pioneering application of AI technology might set a precedent for similar instances in the future, altering the landscape of political campaigning.

Nonetheless, the issue of internet disruptions remains a significant hurdle. The PTI party’s virtual rally was affected by these interruptions, which have been cited as attempts to suppress Khan’s message. This incident underscores the persisting challenges related to internet freedom and cybersecurity issues in the political sphere.