Singer FKA Twigs says she developed her own deepfake during Senate hearing

British singer FKA Twigs said during her Senate testimony pushing for artificial intelligence regulation that she has created her own deepfake version of herself.

In a written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, twigs said she developed the deepfake version of herself over the past year that she will use to engage with her fans online while she spends more time “making art.” She said that the deepfake version of herself is trained to speak in her voice in numerous languages.

“Well, over the over the past year, I’ve been creating an AI version of myself that can use my tone of voice exactly to speak in multiple languages. I’ve done this to be able to reach more of my fans and to be able to speak to them and the nuance of their language. So I’ve currently explored French, Korean and Japanese, which is really exciting for me,” she said at the hearing.

“It means that even with my upcoming album, I can really explain in depth, in depth what it’s about creatively,” she added.

The hearing, titled “Protecting Americans from Unauthorized Digital Replicas,” heard from several witnesses about the potential impacts that digital duplicates could have online. Twigs, whose name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett, pushed for more regulation of these online deepfakes during her testimony on Tuesday.

She explained how there are songs circulating online with her and other artists that she did not make, saying that that makes her feel “vulnerable.” She said if legislation is not put in place to “protect artists,” it would mean that fans “wouldn’t be able to trust people that they’ve spent so many years” investing in.

She described how surprising it was that she had to explain why there should be more protection for artists regarding deepfakes.

“I’m just surprised that we’re even having this conversation because it feels so painfully obvious to me that it’s hard to even find the language if I’m completely honest with you,” the “Cellophane” singer said.

“Ultimately, what it boils down to is my spirit, my art, and my brand is my brand and I’ve spent years developing it and it’s mine. It doesn’t belong to anybody else for — to be used in a commercial sense or cultural sense or even just for a laugh. You know, I am me. I am a human being and we have to protect that,” she added.

In her written testimony submitted ahead of the hearing, she also explained how she developed a “deepfake version” of herself that is trained in her personality and the tone of her voice.

“These and similar emerging technologies are highly valuable tools both artistically and commercially when under the control of the artist. What is not acceptable is when my art and my identity can simply be taken by a third party and exploited falsely for their own gain without my consent due to the absence of appropriate legislative control,” she said in the written statement.

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