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Opinion – FKA Twigs proves AI can empower artists

The singer has proposed an AI version of herself to balance her workload. The response has been mixed, but Twigs nods to an empowering future. 

FKA Twigs has been known to blur creativity with technology. Her ethereal music, films, and dance routines – alongside art and fashion ventures – have always pushed the boundaries and cemented her position within popular culture.

Despite reaching global levels of fame, Twigs has never relinquished her individuality.

The singer has most recently proposed the creation of an AI version of herself; a deepfake designed to take on some of her workload. This ‘fake’ AI Twigs, she said, would interact with fans and journalists, allowing ‘real Twigs’ to ‘spend more time making art’.

‘[The deep fake] is not only trained in my personality but […] also can use my exact tone of voice to speak many languages’ Twigs told the US Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday.

She was there to address the issue of AI for celebrities and artists. Twigs’ own deepfake appears to be an extension of her argument that those figures should have undisputed control over how their voices, looks, and personalities are used by AI.

‘These and similar technologies are highly valuable tools’ Twigs said of her deep fake. ‘This, however, is all under my control and I can grant or refuse consent in a way that is meaningful.’

She went on to call out the exploitation of creatives via AI, an issue that has made artificial intelligence technology an increasingly volatile presence in the arts and creative industries.

‘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.’

Twigs AI doppelganger is, in theory, a liberating move for the singer. It will give Twigs more time to create new work, and ‘really explain in depth what it’s about creatively.’

‘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. […] ultimately I can spend more time making something that’s really meaningful for my fans.’


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But not everyone is impressed.

‘Deep faking yourself? That’s a new low,’ said one Instagram user.

Others were concerned about what the decision will mean for the future of the industry, let alone the wider world; ‘And this my friends is the start of the end.’

But a future filled with technology isn’t necessarily a bad one.

By harnessing AI technology to create a virtual version of herself, Twigs is not only pushing the boundaries of her own artistry but also engaging with her audience in new and exciting ways.

Fans may anticipate the opportunity to interact with a digital doppelgänger of their favourite artist, providing them with a more intimate and personalised connection.

Twigs is also practising what she preaches. The proposal for an AI clone underscores a proactive approach to reclaiming the narrative surrounding AI in the creative industry.

At a time when deep fake technology is often associated with misinformation and manipulation, Twigs is demonstrating how it can be harnessed for positive and empowering purposes. And by taking control of her digital likeness, she’s asserting agency over her identity and challenging conventional notions of authenticity in the digital age.

Further written evidence showed Twigs’ intentions to deploy her AI doppelganger later in the year, ‘to extend my reach and handle my online social media interactions, whilst I continue to focus on my art from the comfort and solace of my studio.’

Reclaiming the rights to an AI version of herself sets Twigs ahead of the curve. The use of artificial intelligence to impersonate the voices and images of well-known singers has been growing.

In April of this year, hundreds of performers signed an open letter calling for more protection against ‘the predatory use of AI to steal artists’ voices and likenesses’.

Twigs’ digital doppelganger will allow her to harness the innovative and creative aspects of AI on her own terms, whilst rejecting exploitation by others online.

‘There are songs online – collaborations with myself and other artists – that I didn’t make, she told congress.

‘It makes you feel vulnerable because, […] as an artist, the thing that I love about what I do is that I’m very precise. I take my time with things and I’m very proud of my work.

‘So, the fact that somebody could take my voice, change lyrics, change messaging, mauve work with an artist that I didn’t want to work with, or maybe work with an artist that I wanted to work with and now the surprise is ruined – it really leaves me very raw and very vulnerable.’

The potential benefits of Twigs’ AI endeavour are undeniable, but the move also represents a delicate balancing act between innovation and responsibility.

It’s essential to proceed with caution and vigilance to ensure that ethical standards are upheld and artistic integrity is preserved.

Whatever the outcome means for the future of music, it’s undeniable that – at a time when AI may be unavoidable – Twigs is harnessing it in the most innovate and empowering way she can.

And that can only mean positive things for what is currently a fraught landscape of artistic expression.