Congresswoman with Rare Neurological Disorder Shares New AI Voice That Mimics Her Speech Before Her Diagnosis

She said she hopes the AI voice model helps show “new and creative ways we can continue to empower people" who are facing "health and accessibility issues"

<p>Rep. Jennifer Wexton/X</p> Jennifer Wexton

Rep. Jennifer Wexton/X

Jennifer Wexton

Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and then progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) last year, is tapping into AI technology to make her voice heard.

The Virginia Representative, 56, revealed in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) that AI technology has helped her make a model of her voice based on her speech before she was diagnosed with PSP, a rare and incurable brain disorder that rapidly deteriorates mobility and speech.

“For those of you who heard me speak before PSP robbed me of my full voice, you may think your ears are deceiving you right now. I assure you they are not,” Wexton said in a new video using her new AI-generated voice.

She added that she “cried happy tears” when she first heard the AI voice — which was extremely similar to her own — and that the new technology has helped “empower” her “to keep living my life” and to keep “doing the job I love.”

Related: Congresswoman and Mom of 2 Speaks Candidly About Her Incurable Brain Disease: 'I'm Too Young for This' (Exclusive)

Wexton said that this all came about after she and her team compiled several “old clips” of her “public speeches” she previously made in Congress, which then generated an AI model of what her voice sounded like before PSP affected “the volume and clarity” of her “speech.”

She noted that the AI-generated voice would be a big upgrade from the “text to speech app” she had previously been using over the past few months during congressional hearings, including during her remarks over a piece of legislation in May, and that it was a major stride to providing accessibility to those who need it.

The congresswoman shared that she hoped her new AI voice model would help show “new and creative ways we can continue to empower people facing the kinds of health and accessibility issues as I have and show that our abilities do not define who we are.”

<p>Courtesy of The Wexton Office</p> Jennifer Wexton

Courtesy of The Wexton Office

Jennifer Wexton

Related: Virginia Congresswoman Will Not Run for Reelection After Rare Neurological Disorder Diagnosis

Wexton, who announced that she would not seek a third term in Congress in September 2023, previously got candid about her communication struggles and challenges of legislating with PSP in an interview with PEOPLE in May.

“The most difficult thing is not being able to be understood as much as I’d like to be or as much as I used to be, especially as a former trial attorney and now a politician," she said at the time.

"It’s such a big part of this job, whether it’s talking with colleagues on the House floor where it’s very loud, or participating in committee hearings, or being out around my district meeting with constituents," Wexton continued.

<p>Courtesy of the Wexton Office</p> Jennifer Wexton

Courtesy of the Wexton Office

Jennifer Wexton

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

She said that while "cognitively, I'm the person I've always been," there are more things now that take her "a lot longer to do," including getting ready in the morning or getting to votes on time.

Despite those difficulties, Wexton shared that she was looking forward to spending more time with her family and friends after retirement and was grateful for their support. “I feel very lucky to be where I am right now, with a strong support network of family, friends and my staff," she noted.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.