David Beckham ‘speaks nine languages’ in malaria campaign’s new video | World News




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Artificial intelligence has been used to make David Beckham look like he is speaking nine languages in a new anti-malaria campaign.

Producers created a 3D model of the football star’s face, which they reanimated so it appears he is conversing fluently in Spanish, French, Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin, Kinyarwanda, Kiswahili and Yoruba.

The voices of eight other people appear in the campaign – including malaria survivors and doctors fighting the disease.

Beckham teamed up with the Malaria Must Die, So Millions Can Live campaign after it emerged progress to reduce cases of one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases has stalled.

David Beckham has been working with the Malaria Must Die campaign
Image:
David Beckham has been working with the Malaria Must Die campaign

World leaders are now being urged to step up their efforts, with the public encouraged to record a message saying “malaria must die” so it can be sent to decision-makers.

Each language and voice represent a part of the world affected by malaria in the past and at present.

The actual words spoken in languages other than English are voiced by people who come from malaria-ridden countries, some of whom have been personally affected by the disease themselves.

AI is used to make it appear as though David Beckham is speaking nine languages. Pic: Malaria Must Die
Image:
AI is used to make it appear as though David Beckham is speaking nine languages. Pic: Malaria Must Die

Beckham says in the video: “Malaria isn’t just any disease. It’s the deadliest disease there’s ever been.”

He then appears to say in Spanish: “It is said to have killed half the people who have ever lived – more than 50 billion of us.”

In Kinyarwanda, a Rwandan language, he adds: “And it still kills a child every two minutes.”

Those words are actually spoken by Marie Murorunkwere, a young woman who was herself afflicted with the disease when she was growing up in Rwanda.

Beckham then concludes in English: “If we put all of our voices together, then they will have to listen.”

The campaign has been organised by the Malaria Must Die charity, which is backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, Comic Relief and numerous other non-governmental organisations and companies.

It has set up a website to encourage anyone around the world to record a voice message of “malaria must die” wherever they are in the world.

Malaria Must Die is working with partner charities around the world to get people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other continents affected by the disease to join in with recording the messages.

The plan is to include all the voice messages in an art installation, which the charity describes as a “voice sculpture” that will make up a collective “shout”.

This will be taken to several gatherings of world leaders later in the year, including the UN General Assembly and the 40th board meeting of the Global Fund in Geneva.

The latest report from the World Health Organisation estimated that there were 219 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2017, compared with 217 million cases in 2016.

The 10 countries in Africa which account for the most cases reported that rates rose in 2017 compared with 2016.

There have been some notable success stories where work has taken place to combat malaria.

In Zanzibar, Tanzania, at least 80% of the country now has long-lasting insecticidal nets or insecticidal wall coverings – helping the number of cases in 2017 fall 33% compared with the year before.

In India, where certain regions have changed their approach to tackling the disease, cases have fallen by an estimated 24%.



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