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Tech Talk: David Beckham uses AI technology in the launch of his anti-Malaria campaign

In a new short film, that harnesses ground breaking AI technology, David Beckham launches the world’s first voice petition to end malaria for the campaign ‘Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live’.

Instead of collecting signatures, the campaign asks people around the world to use the power of their voice to demand action by visiting malariamustdie.com and recording the message ‘Malaria Must Die’.

In the short film, produced by Ridley Scott Associates, David appears to speak nine languages as he invites people to add their voices to help end one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases. But the voices are not all his own. Instead, using emerging AI video synthesis technology, we hear David speaking the voices of men and women from around the world, including malaria survivors and doctors fighting the disease.

Through David, we hear nine global languages spoken and the voices of eight others, including Dr. Elvis Eze, Marie Murorunkwere, Hussein Omar and Jean Bosco Niyonzima, who have survived malaria and are using their stories to help raise awareness about malaria’s devastating effects.

Dr.Elvis Eze whose voice features in the film speaking Yoruba, a language spoken in Nigeria said: “My life changed when I worked at a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria and I saw the intolerable toll of malaria. It doesn’t have to be this way. I now work for the NHS in the UK and have seen how this is a global challenge. Through the voice petition, we each have a chance to inspire change wherever we are”.

Each language and voice represent a part of the world affected by malaria, past or present; from the UK, which was historically affected by malaria, to China, a country on the brink of elimination, to Nigeria, where the malaria toll is the heaviest with close to 300 lives lost every day, mainly young children.

“The fight to end malaria is everyone’s fight, and operating in Southern Africa where we have some of the heaviest burdens of malaria, we see first-hand the wrenching effects this disease has on our people and our communities. It is why campaigns like #MalariaMustDie are so vital. We need a commitment from our global leaders, and we’ll need to use our universal voices if we are going to create an impact and be heard. It’s time to say Goodbye Malaria,” said Sherwin Charles, co-founder, and CEO of Goodbye Malaria.

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The ‘Malaria Must Die’ campaign is designed to amplify the voices of those affected by malaria and gives everyone the opportunity to speak out. Each voice collected via the petition will contribute to a unique piece of audio art known as a sound sculpture, grabbing the attention of leaders in a unique and memorable way. It will be delivered to world leaders ahead of critical funding decisions for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in six months’ time.

David Beckham is a founding member of Malaria No More UK Leadership Council and a committed champion in the fight against malaria with over a decade of support for Malaria No More UK. In his long-term role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, he has seen the impact of malaria on people’s lives in countries such as Sierra Leone.

David said: “I have been working with Malaria No More UK for over 10 years and to be a part of this campaign and to help share some of the real stories behind malaria is really important to me. Dr. Elvis Eze who was with us on set has suffered from malaria many times and as a doctor, he has seen how dangerous this disease can be. For me, it was so important to learn how he is using his experiences to raise awareness of malaria with young people in the UK and abroad. It’s unacceptable that malaria still kills a child every two minutes so please add your voice to the petition.”

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