This AI Campaign Re-Creates the Voices of Gun Violence Victims to Call for Reform

U.S. lawmakers will receive a flurry of calls today from students demanding gun reform. 
“How many calls will it take for you to care?” one of them asks. 
The twist: All of the students who call were killed in shootings, and their voices have been re-created using artificial intelligence.
Gun reform organizations Change the Ref and March for Our Lives, with agency MullenLowe, have launched The Shotline, an automated platform and campaign that allows gun violence victims to share their stories posthumously through their own voices. The Shotline uses audio provided by the students’ families and deep machine learning to create computerized versions of each voice. 
On Feb. 14—which marks six years since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.—the campaign will send the voice messages as phone calls to U.S. representatives over and over again to reinforce the toll that inaction has taken. 
Lawmakers will receive calls from six gun violence victims, including Uziyah Garcia, a 10-year-old who died in the 2022 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas; and Joaquin Oliver, a 17-year-old who died in the 2018 Parkland shooting and the son of Change the Ref’s founders, Manuel and Patricia Oliver. 
“Hi! This is Uzi Garcia. I love video games, telling jokes and making my friends laugh, and jumping on the trampoline with my family. I’m a fourth grader at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, or at least I was when a man with an AR-15 came into my school and killed 18 of my classmates, two teachers and me,” Garcia’s voice says. “That was almost two years ago. Nothing has changed. Even more shootings have happened.”
The campaign also encourages the public to share their stories on The Shotline and send AI-generated messages from their own lost loved ones. The platform includes a searchable database of public contact information for state representatives. 
The Olivers founded Change the Ref in 2018 and since then have used a variety of creative methods to call for gun reform. 
Last year, with agency BCW, the nonprofit created a mock children’s book that told Joaquin’s story and sent it to members of Congress. 
Another notable campaign was 2021’s The Lost Class, by agency Leo Burnett Chicago, which duped a National Rifle Association leader into speaking at a fake graduation ceremony representing the 3,044 victims of gun violence who should have graduated that year. 

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