Artists Feel the Threat of A.I. But Also Increasingly Embrace the Technology


Singer/Actor, FKA twigs
FKA Twigs testified before Congress on April 30 in favor of A.I. regulations. Shannon Finney/Getty Images for RIAA

Artists from musicians to filmmakers have called for A.I. regulations as the technology continues to advance and encroach on the media industry. But many artists are also eager to embrace A.I. to benefit their work. One of them is the musician FKA Twigs, who testified before Congress yesterday (April 30) in favor of regulations proposed by the “Nurture Originals, Foster Art and Keep Entertainment Safe” (NO FAKES) Act. During the hearing, the artist also revealed that she has experimented with A.I. to create images of herself. 

Twigs, whose real name is Tahliah Debrett Barnett, spoke about how her own “deepfake” is helping her replicate her personality and adapt her voice in several different languages. “I will be engaging my A.I. twigs later this 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,” Twigs said in her testimony.

Last September, many Meta (META) users were surprised to find out that A.I. versions of celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Snoop Dogg and MrBeast were acting as A.I. assistants on the platform using different names and Facebook Instagram profiles. Though most were not actors or musicians, the move showed a shift in how some of the media industry’s top entertainers were thinking about A.I. Business Insider reported that Meta paid as much as $5 million to one creator for just six hours of work.  

While more and more artists show interest in embracing A.I., they are also concerned about the technology’s impact on the industry overall. Billionaire filmmaker Tyler Perry expressed this sentiment recently when he told The Hollywood Reporter that OpenAI’s new video generator, Sora, was so “shockingly” good that it led him shutting down plans for expanding his studio. Perry said he had used A.I. in producing two upcoming films. 

In the music industry, artists like T-Pain and Demi Lovato have partnered with tech companies on A.I. projects. Those two are among the nine artists who are collaborating with YouTube on its Dream Track song generator for YouTube Shorts. “The development of A.I. technology is rapidly changing the way we navigate the landscape, and I believe as artists we need to be a part of shaping what that future looks like,” Lovato said in a statement about the partnership. 

This does not denote the fact that there are still real concerns from artists about the use of A.I. More than 200 musicians, including Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, recently signed an open letter calling for the tech and music industries to “cease the use of artificial intelligence to infringe upon and devalue the rights of human artists.” In February, Universal Music Group cited A.I. as a reason for pulling its music from TikTok, saying the video app has not done enough to prevent A.I.-generated songs from circulating on the platform.

Artists Feel the Threat of A.I. But Also Increasingly Embrace the Technology





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