In an unprecedented move, former Pakistani Prime MinisterImran Khan's AI-generated rally speech sparks controversy amidst internet disruptions.
Imran Khan is currently serving a three-year prison sentence. He utilized an AI-generated audio clip to address a virtual rally for his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
This novel approach marked the first instance of AI technology being employed in Pakistan's political landscape.
The audio clip was played alongside an AI-generated image that appeared to simulate speech during the PTI's internet rally, garnering over 1.4 million views on YouTube and attracting tens of thousands of live attendees on various social media platforms.
Imran Khan, who has been jailed since August 5 on graft charges, expressed frustration over the restrictions imposed on public rallies for his party.
In the AI-generated speech, he urged supporters to participate in large numbers in the upcoming general elections scheduled for February 8.
Our party is not allowed to hold public rallies. Our people are being kidnapped and their families are being harassed.- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan
The move comes amid a state-backed crackdown on physical gatherings by the PTI, coupled with Khan's media blackout.
There were difficulties with the virtual rally because internet outages affected the livestreaming, raising questions about election transparency.
Users across the nation reported slow internet speeds and throttling, a technique used by telecom regulators to limit streaming on apps.
Pakistan's telecoms regulator stated that it is investigating the interruptions, while emphasizing that overall internet accessibility appeared normal.
Officials from Imran Khan's PTI mentioned that the AI-generated speech was crafted from a written version approved by Khan from prison.
The party organized the event to navigate the crackdown on physical gatherings and media restrictions. Khan, embroiled in numerous court cases, faces challenges to fair proceedings, with some trials held behind closed doors.
Murtaza Solangi, the information minister in Pakistan's caretaker government overseeing the elections, addressed queries about internet disruptions, deferring the issue to the telecom regulator or the Ministry of Information Technology.
The use of AI in Khan's campaign raises questions about free speech and assembly violations, potentially influencing the dynamics of the upcoming general elections.
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he speaks to the members of the media at his residence in Lahore, Pakistan May 18, 2023.
The use of AI and deepfake technology is gaining prominence globally, with implications for electoral processes.
As countries worldwide, including the United States, India, European Union, Russia, and Taiwan, gear up for major polls in 2024, the intersection of AI and politics is likely to become a contentious issue.
The potential for disinformation and the difficulty of distinguishing synthetic media from reality pose challenges for ensuring fair and informed electoral processes.
In a groundbreaking move, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan employed AI technology for a virtual rally, marking a significant moment in the nation's political landscape.
Due to internet outages, the AI-generated audio clip and accompanying artificial image encountered difficulties, raising questions about transparency for the upcoming general elections.
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