The Most Famous Speech Never Given

The 13th Amendment is celebrated for ending slavery in the U.S., and President Lincoln was among its biggest champions. But what most Americans don’t know is that the amendment includes an exception clause that has allowed slavery and involuntary servitude to be used as punishment for crime since 1865. While President Lincoln was indeed aware of the exception, he used it to solidify bipartisan support of the 13th Amendment — and anticipated it would be abolished shortly thereafter. So what would he say if he could see how many people are still suffering under it nearly two centuries later? Using AI, we asked him — and partnered with Worth Rises to develop a pro bono campaign: “The Most Famous Speech Never Given.”

Leveraging Lincoln’s past speeches and writings, we trained AI to write a new speech in Lincoln’s voice and developed a historically accurate CGI representation of the iconic president to give it. Working closely with Harold Holzer, the nation’s foremost Abraham Lincoln authority and Chairman of the Lincoln Forum, we ensured that the speech itself and Lincoln’s appearance, movements and voice were as authentic as possible. From the filler words he used when addressing the nation to his stutter and midwestern accent, the speech is a reflection of who President Lincoln was so many years ago — and who he would have been today. The campaign’s font is even inspired by Lincoln’s own handwriting.

Launching strategically ahead of the 2024 elections, the online and social campaign works to drive public education and legislative action, encouraging audiences to demand change on a federal level and pass the Abolition Amendment to end slavery once and for all.

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Kat Shafer

Chief Client Officer

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