This is why British singer FKA Twigs has created an AI deepfake of herself and her music

BY Nii Ntreh May 3, 2024 11:58 AM EDT
British singer FKA Twigs is producing her own deepfakes. Photo Credit:

In her appearance at a United States Senate hearing on intellectual property amid growing Artificial Intelligence production, British singer-songwriter FKA Twigs revealed that she has created a clone of herself and acts.

According to the 36-year-old, the deepfake version was made so her fans could feel closer to her. But the singer was quick to point out that deepfakes that are unauthorized can leave a subject feeling “raw and vulnerable”. She gave her submission before a Senate committee hearing submissions on the No Fakes Act, a piece of legislation aimed at tackling deepfake production.

Deepfake content inspired by the likeness and livelihood of famous people has become prominent on social media as AI tools have become easily and widely accessible. Artists such as Taylor Swift and Beyonce as well as former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been some of the most targeted for visual and audio deepfake productions. Most of the producers are anonymous on the internet.

In certain cases, however, deepfake production has been sanctioned by famous people about others. Last week, the rapper Drake was asked by managers of the estates of Tupac Shakur to desist from using the deceased rapper’s vocal likeness in a song.

In her argument before the committee on Tuesday, April 30, FKA Twigs said:

I’ve done this to be able to reach more of my fans and to be able to speak to them in the nuance of their language. I’ve currently explored French, Korean and Japanese, which is really exciting for me. It means that even with my upcoming album I can really explain in depth what it’s about creatively.

She added: Often being a music artist, or any artist in this day and age, requires a lot of press and a lot of promo, a lot of one-liners. So it means if it’s something simple that doesn’t really require my heart, I can do a one-liner and give it to people to promote a piece of work and, you know, it’s harmless but ultimately I can spend more time making something that’s really meaningful for my fans.

But the singer also stressed the importance of owning the right to any clone of herself because “I am a human being and we have to protect that.”

Digital security expert Christine Ashong told BlackStars News that legislation will continue “to be outpaced by the speed of AI technological progress.” However, there was a need for governments to anticipate “some of these challenges and cooperate with the technical expertise to realize safe AI usage that does not infringe on people’s privacy and ability to make lawful income.”

There have been growing calls in the United States and the United Kingdom for a tougher response to deepfake content online. Some artists have also expressed worry about what growing deepfake content would mean for films, music and other art forms.