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Publish at February 14 2023 Updated February 14 2023

A lost speech reconstructed by an AI

Charles de Gaulle's June 18, 1940 appeal, recreated by cloning.

On June 17, 1940, France laid down its arms before the German offensive. A 49-year-old general and many others went into exile in England at the same time to prepare the response. On June 18, Charles de Gaulle made an appeal to the French, which has gone down in history. It is still celebrated today. However, when an audio extract is played, it dates from June 22, 1940. The photo associated with this event was not taken at the same time. Worse, the texts do not match between the memoirs of the general and the famous posters of this call.

The daily newspaper Le Monde has managed to reproduce the original speech. First, they found the transcript in Swiss archives. Then, artificial intelligence technology came to the rescue in order to bring to life this call lost in the meanders of history. All that was needed was for an actor to read the text while respecting the general's rhythm, without imitating him. Afterwards, the algorithm analyzed the actor's voice, audio excerpts from Charles de Gaulle and managed to adjust the sound so that it resembled what could have been pronounced on June 18, 1940.

A tour de force to listen to in this fascinating report.

Length: 14 minutes

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