FKA twigs creates deepfake of herself, calls for AI regulation from Mashable

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FKA twigs delivered a powerful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property on Tuesday, discussing the threat of artificial intelligence when it comes to the livelihoods of artists like herself.

Alongside Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl, twigs – whose real name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett – testified about better regulating AI and deepfakes, but also revealed that she’s developing her own deepfake and can see the benefits in leveraging the technology.

“My art is the canvas on which I paint my identity and the sustaining foundation of my livelihood. It is the essence of my being. Yet this is under threat. AI cannot replicate the depth of my life journey, yet those who control it hold the power to mimic the likeness of my art, to replicate it and falsely claim my identity and intellectual property,” the singer-songwriter read from her written testimony.

The subcommittee is currently discussing the “Nurture Originals, Foster Art, and Keep Entertainment Safe Act” – or “NO FAKES Act” – a bipartisan bill asking for stronger legal protection around AI for recording artists, particularly when it comes to non-consensual deepfakes that use the voice and visual likeness of an individual. The legislation would hold anyone producing a “unauthorized digital replica” liable.

“This prospect threatens to rewrite and unravel the fabric of my very existence. We must enact regulation now to safeguard our authenticity and protect against misappropriation of our inalienable rights,” twigs continued in her statement.

She then revealed that she has been developing her own deepfake for a year: one that is “trained” in her personality and can also use her “exact tone of voice to speak many languages.” She says she plans to use “AI twigs” to extend and handle her social media interactions while she focuses on her art. She pointed out that the likes of deepfakes and AI technology can be “highly valuable tools both artistically and commercially when under the control of the artist.”

The artist told the committee on Capitol Hill that “careers and livelihoods are in jeopardy, and so potentially are the wider image-related rights of others in society.”

“Our creativity is the product of this lived experience overlaid with years of dedication to qualification, training, hard work and, dare I say it, significant financial investment and sacrifice,” twigs said. “That the very essence of our being at its most human level can be violated by the unscrupulous use of AI to create a digital facsimile that purports to be us, and our work, is inherently wrong.”

AI continues to be a subject of note for actors and artists, with many calling for stringent regulation and guardrails to better protect those in the industries. The music industry continues to spur conversations about the looming threat of AI, with more than 200 artists just recently signing an open letter denouncing the use of AI in music.

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