Watch how deepfake AI technology brings murdered grime artist 'back to life'

A young grime performer from Birmingham has been brought 'back to life' with deepfake AI technology in a new video and song raising awareness of knife crime.

Joshua Ribera was 18-years-old when he was stabbed outside a Selly Oak nightclub in September 2013.

That morning he had received his first pay packet for his new album, having already toured with globally famous grime star Skepta and built up a huge following in that scene. 

His killer, another 18 year-old, was later jailed for life.

Now, his mum Alison Cope has become an anti-knife campaigner and has worked with various artists and performers to create a deepfake AI video of Joshua, or Depzman as he was known, rapping about his death and the effects knife-crime has on families.

Alison has been campaigning to make the teaching of youth violence a priority in schools and wants to see it compulsory.

After working on the video, Alison said it left her in tears but was relieved it had finally been uploaded.

"When they played it to me for the first time, I was devastated. I just sobbed and sobbed.

"It just felt like he was real. It felt like he was there and I could reach in and bring him back but obviously I can't."

Deepfakes use deep learning artificial intelligence to replace the likeness of one person with another in video and other digital media.

For this video, an artists performed the movements of Joshua and another sang the song as close to the likeliness of Joshua.

The video has been watched thousands of times and shared on social media, including Birmingham rapper, Jaykae, from Small Heath.

Alison said: "I just cried and cried and cried and then I just thought 'wow' this is amazing and this is going to achieve everything I hope it does.

The song and video features on SBTV, the urban music platform founded by Jamal Edwards.

It has already won the support of the NSPCC and many of Joshua's contemporaries and fellow performers.