Rep. Wexton unveils AI recreation of voice

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) unveiled an artificial intelligence (AI) recreation of her voice Wednesday as she battles a neurodegenerative disease that has “robbed” her of her “full voice.”

Wexton, who has said she has progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), said in a post on the social platform X Wednesday that “AI has allowed me to make a new model of my voice like it was before my PSP.”

“For those of you who heard me speak before PSP robbed me of my full voice, you may think your ears are deceiving you right now,” a voice sounding quite similar to Wexton’s old voice can be heard saying in a video featured in the post. “I assure you, they are not.”

“I’m very pleased to debut my new AI voice today, and share how this remarkable technology has helped empower me to keep living my life, and doing the job I love.”

Back in September 2023, Wexton announced that she wouldn’t try for another term due to increasing challenges with her health.

“I’m heartbroken to have to give up something I have loved after so many years of serving my community,” Wexton said in a statement. “But taking into consideration the prognosis for my health over the coming years, I have made the decision not to seek reelection once my term is complete and instead spend my valued time with Andrew, our boys, and my friends and loved ones.”

Wexton gave a speech on the House floor via voice assist in May in which she noted that “PSP makes it very difficult for me to speak, and I use an assistive app so that you and our colleagues can understand me.”

In her Wednesday post on X, Wexton said she wishes her AI voice “helps show creative ways we can empower people facing the kinds of health and accessibility challenges I have and demonstrate our abilities don’t define us.”

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