Imran Khan Uses AI Audio and Images to Deliver Speech While Imprisoned

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has released a rallying speech from his jail cell — with the help of artificial intelligence.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party used AI technology to transform a speech written by their leader into audio that could be played at a political rally. The video also featured AI images showing Khan reading in prison.

The video was played out yesterday (Sunday) during a five-hour “virtual power show” quickly racking up over 1.5 million views on YouTube. Khan praised his social media team for the “historic” broadcast.

“This was a no-brainer for us,” PTI’s social media chief Jibran Ilyas tells Agence-France Presse. “No PTI political rally is complete without Imran Khan.”

AI Imran Khan
A screengrab from the broadcast shows an AI image of Khan reading in a jail cell.

Polls show that Khan, a former cricket star, is the most popular politician in Pakistan — despite languishing in a jail cell. His party PTI looks to be the biggest ahead of the county’s upcoming election in February.

The event was marred by internet outages and limited access to social media platforms raising concerns that the election will be unfair.

“Our party, PTI, is not allowed to campaign and hold rallies, our people are being abducted and their family members are being harassed,” Khan said while urging Pakistanis to vote in large numbers.

Khan’s name or picture has been blacklisted in Pakistan’s mainstream media and thousands of party members and Khan’s allies have been arrested or harassed.

“Since PTI is being subjected to [a] massive crackdown with its leader Imran Khan locked in prison, we thought it’d be best to encourage voters with something coming directly from Mr. Khan … the AI video was generated with its content approved by Mr. Khan,” one of Khan’s advisers tells The Times of London.

Khan was ousted as prime minister in April 2022. The 70-year-old had been campaigning for reelection when he was sentenced to three years in jail on corruption charges. He was granted bail but held in jail for allegedly leaking classified documents. Khan claims all charges against him are politically motivated.

Image credits: Images by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf