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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

AI Revives Voice of Late Father for Christmas Gift

Image credits: Phillip Willett / TikTok

The holiday season is a time for joy and togetherness, but for some, it's a poignant reminder of loved ones lost.

This was the case for content creator Philip Willett from Missouri, who lost his father, his "hero", to pancreatic cancer in 2022. This year, he decided to surprise his mother with a Christmas gift that was both innovative and deeply touching.

Philip used artificial intelligence (AI) to recreate his late father's voice, a sound that had been absent from their lives for too long. He shared the emotional moment his mother unwrapped the gift on TikTok, a video that quickly went viral, amassing millions of views and thousands of comments.

The idea to use AI, a tool Philip frequently uses in his professional work, was suggested by his wife, Kassandra Willett. Initially hesitant, Philip decided to give it a try after researching similar projects online. The first words he inputted into the program were "Hi, honey", a phrase he had heard his father say countless times. The result gave him chills.

Philip spent an entire day, from 7am to 6pm, working on the project. Alongside the AI-generated voice message, he created a video book filled with photos of his mother, Trish Willett, and him. The video book was the perfect vessel for the recreated voice, making the gift even more special.

The TikTok video doesn't fully capture the emotional impact of the gift. Philip and his mother shared a long, tearful hug after the reveal. He believes the gift will help his mother navigate the holiday season, reminding her that her late husband is always with her. The rest of the family were left "truly speechless" by the unique and touching tribute.

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