Artificial Intelligence

Rep. Wexton uses AI voice model as medical condition affects her speech

After months of using a text-to-speech application, Wexton spoke on X about her excitement about her "new/old AI voice"

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Rep. Jennifer Wexton is using an artificial intelligence-generated model of her voice as a medical condition affects her speech.

In a video posted to X on Wednesday, she said she “cried happy tears” when she first heard her “new/old AI voice.”

“I hope this 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,” the Northern Virginia congresswoman said in the video.

Wexton was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) last year. She was first elected to the House in 2018 and announced in September that she would not run for reelection because of her diagnosis. 

Earlier this year, Wexton used a text-to-speech application to address the House.

“This would be a big upgrade from the robotic-sounding text-to-speech app I’ve been using over the past few months,” she said in her video Wednesday.

Wexton won her seat in 2022 with 53% of the vote, against Rep. Barbara Comstock. 

Suhas Subramanyam recently won the Democratic nomination for Wexton’s 10th District seat. He will face Republican Mike Clancy.

In her new video, Wexton shared how she and her team were able to compile clips of her past public speeches to generate her AI voice. 

News4 previously reported how AI technology has been helping patients who suffer from neurological and movement disorders. Patients who were left paralyzed found help through AI, helping them regain movement and reclaiming their voices.

“AI technology can be a scary new frontier, especially if used in the wrong way by people with malicious intentions ... But it can also provide new, unimaginable and life-changing opportunities for Americans with disabilities,” Wexton said in her video. 

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