Advocates Using AI Voices of Victims To Push for Gun Law Changes

Advocates Using AI Voices of Victims To Push for Gun Law Changes

( – Gun control advocates are reportedly using artificial intelligence in an effort to make the push for gun law reforms. March for Our Lives and Change the Ref, two well-known advocacy groups, have created at least six audio recordings that argue their case through the simulated voices of deceased youths.

Four of the generated calls feature the stories of Joaquin Oliver, Uziyah Garcia, Akila DaSilva, and Jaycee Webster – all young victims of gun violence. Oliver and Garcia died in the Parkland and Uvalde shootings at ages 17 and 10, while DaSilva was 23 when killed in the Nashville Waffle House shooting. Webster died at 20 in a robbery gone wrong at his home.

The fifth recording contains the simulated voice of Mike Baughan, 30, who reportedly died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The sixth and final call depicts 15-year-old Ethan Song, who was accidentally shot while he and a friend played with a firearm.

Leaders from the initiative have hosted the recorded calls at a new website called The Shotline, where anyone can listen and share them at any time. A large button implores visitors to send the recorded calls on to Congress after tuning in.

Brett Cross, Uziyah Garcia’s father, shared the recording of his son’s voice to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Valentine’s Day. “For 631 days we’ve been Uziyahs voice,” he wrote.

He and the other parents of the children involved consented to the simulations and, in most cases, appear to see it as a creative way to honor their memories while pushing harder for change. Cross told CNN that while “It was bittersweet” to hear his son’s voice again, they feel a pressing need to find better ways to convince lawmakers to listen.

While Cross and the other parents involved see The Shotline project as a meaningful way to use their children’s voices for good, not everyone is so supportive. Critics argue that simulating the voices of the dead for this purpose crosses ethical boundaries and raises concerns about emotional manipulation.

Second Amendment activists have also said that the FCC made simulated robocalls illegal after an individual used ElevenLabs, an AI voice platform, to create a deepfake of President Joe Biden telling people not to vote. They question the inconsistency and worry that The Shotline project could open the floodgates to even more harm.

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