FKA Twigs has revealed that she has developed her own deepfake version of herself, specifically to interact with fans online.

The British singer-songwriter – whose real name is Tahliah Barnett – revealed the news of the AI development in a recent written testimony, where she explained how artificial intelligence can be used when an artist gives their consent.

Deepfakes are created using artificial intelligence to make a photo or video of someone by manipulating their face or body.

According to a report by Rolling Stone, the online version of the artist will go by ‘AI Twigs’, and will be rolled out later this year to help her maintain a connection with fans online while she focuses on making new music.

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“In the past year, I have developed my own deepfake version of myself that is not only trained in my personality but also can use my exact tone of voice to speak many languages,” she wrote in the testimony.

“I will be engaging my AI 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.

“These and similar emerging technologies are highly valuable tools both artistically and commercially when under the control of the artist.”

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FKA Twigs performs onstage during Vogue World: London at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on September 14, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

The singer is set to put forward the testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property in Washington D.C. later today (April 30). It comes in regard to the ‘No Fakes’ Act, which has been developed with the aim of protecting public figures from the unauthorised use of names, images and likenesses for AI.

Her written testimony was published earlier this morning, and shed light on the issues that may arise if artificial intelligence technologies are not properly regulated, as well as warning that it could put the careers and livelihoods of celebrities in jeopardy.

“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,” she wrote.

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“It is therefore vital that as an industry and as legislators we work together to ensure we do all we can to protect our creative and intellectual rights as well as the very basis of who we are.”

FKA Twigs will speak during the hearing alongside Robert Kyncl – the CEO of her record label Warner Music Group – and representatives from the Motion Picture Association and the performers’ union SAG-AFTRA.

While specific details on how AI Twigs will work remain scarce, the news of the development comes after Twigs was honoured with the Godlike Genius award at the BandLab NME Awards in 2022.

The award came after she performed earlier in the night, and was presented to the singer by Soul II Soul legend Jazzie B  at the O2 Academy Brixton.

“It’s incredible that I’m here to deliver this award to a young sister,” Jazzie B said of giving Twigs the honour, highlighting how Twigs was the youngest winner in history.

He added: “Did you hear me, Brixton? This is a young lady at the very top of her game. You’re blessed baby, you truly are blessed.”

In her acceptance speech, Twigs said: “I don’t know a godlike genius but it’s a godlike strength to carry on throughout difficult times, the personal experiences, through world experience, the hardest thing to do is to keep going and I feel so grateful to know people like Jazzie who I know stayed up all night music and people like Boy George who do the exact same, staying up all night making art and music.

“That’s what I’m doing and I’m just so grateful that there’s a space for me here. Thank you for the support, be safe and let’s just be kind to each other.”

FKA Twigs was the first Black female artist to receive the Godlike Genius award, which has in the past gone to the likes of The Clash, The Cure and Blondie.

The news of AI Twigs also arrives just weeks after Two Shell teamed up the singer to share a new club-ready version of the track ‘Talk To Me’.

As for other news around artificial intelligence, it was reported earlier this month that the creation of sexually explicit “deepfake” images is to be made a criminal offence in England and Wales.

It comes after recent years have seen people impose the faces of celebrities into pornographic films or images, as happened to Taylor Swift earlier this year.

Following the trend gaining momentum, the government confirmed a new law will be created and anyone making explicit images of an adult without their consent will face a criminal record and an unlimited fine. The Ministry of Justice said this will apply regardless of whether the creator of the image intended to share it.

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