The Shotline, launched by Manuel and Patricia Oliver, whose son was killed in a shooting at Parkland, Florida, High School, aims to strengthen gun control. As part of it, parents used an AI tool to generate the voices of their dead children (some were not yet 10 years old), and lawmakers received automated calls “from the other world” with requests to lobby for the relevant laws. And since there are a lot of such shootings in the United States, the number of people who want to join the project has reached 8000 people.

Six years ago, I went to Parkland. That year, on Valentine’s Day, a man using an AR-15 (semi-automatic rifle) killed many students and teachers. But you don’t care. Six years have passed, and you have done nothing. Nothing to stop all this shooting that is still going on. The thing is, I died that day in Parkland. My body was destroyed by a military weapon. I came back today because my parents used AI to replicate my voice to call you. Other victims, like me, will also call again and again to demand action.

This text is “voiced” by Joaquin Oliver, the son of the founders of The Shotline. Joaquin’s father says: “This is a U.S. problem, and we haven’t been able to solve it. If we need to use creepy stuff to fix it, we’ll do it.”

To synthesize the voices of Oliver and the other victims, they used an AI tool from ElevenLabs, the same one that generated Biden’s voice for fake calls to New Hampshire voters. It enables you to generate voices based on a few minutes of sample in more than 20 languages. However, there are two nuances here.

The first nuance is ethical: Joaquin’s parents are accused of “politicizing” his death. In response, Patricia Oliver says that she just wants children (and adults) to stop dying from blind bullets. And the second is the recent decision of the US Federal Communications Commission that makes automated calls using AI-generated voice illegal. However, parents who have lost their children have nothing more to lose – they are unlikely to be frightened or stopped even by a federal decree.

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