By Philip Whiteside, international news reporter, and Carmen Aguilar Garcia, data journalist

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.

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.

More from David Beckham

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, ARead More – Source

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