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Artificial intelligence used to simulate voiced of dead and missing people

By: Leon Cui

A big growth spurt in AI technology has been happening over the past few years. This technology has been used for all sorts of reasons, and now it can prevent accidents of missing children. There have always been cases of missing and kidnapped children. Now people are using the new technology to decrease the likelihood of cases like this happening, according to some content creators.

One video on TikTok simulated the voice of a 2-year-old who was kidnapped in 1993. “Hello, my name is James Bulger. If my mom turned right, I could have been alive today.

Unfortunately, she turned left.” James was kidnapped and then eventually murdered by two 10-year-olds.

His mother called these videos “disgusting”: “To use the face and a moving mouth of a child who is no longer here, who has been brutally taken away from us, there are no words,” she said.

A spokesperson for TikTok said, “Our community guidelines are clear that we do not allow synthetic media that contains the likeness of a young person.” James’s father told the content creators to take down the video, but they claimed that it is for making sure no more accidents will happen in the future. Although his parents and Tiktok are trying to remove this video, there are still many others.

Another video like the one mentioned above is about a boy being assaulted by his mom and her boyfriend. The AI-generated voice of the boy says, “When I started attending a new school, the teacher reported to social services that I had bruises on my body. I asked her if it was normal to bleed when my mother hit me with a belt.”

A researcher at Oxford University said that it is made using AI software, but she is still not sure which one. In this video, although there is a child-like voice, it is not actually based on their real voice—it is generated by AI.

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