In a move that will terrify anyone who makes music for a living, an Artificial Intelligence researcher has used deep fake technology to recreate a perfect copy of Eminem’s 1999 smash “My Name Is…”.
The AI has duplicated the exact tone and intonation of the Missouri-born rapper but updated his seminal rap to take sideswipes at Billie Eilish, former president Donald Trump and instant dating site Tinder.
YouTuber, 30 Hertz, who created the track, says he uses AI to generate “synthetic parody songs and other poorly written material” in a disclaimer that echoes scatalogical 90s comedy show South Park.
He’s not the only AI tinkerer using artificial intelligence to recreate the works of famous musicians.
OpenAI’s Jukebox project uses the same technology to create entire songs that might have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, had the Rat Pack legend not died in 1998.
“As a piece of engineering, it’s really impressive,” Goldsmiths College electronic music researcher Dr Matthew Yee-King told the Guardian.
“They break down an audio signal into a set of lexemes of music – a dictionary if you like – at three different layers of time, giving you a set of core fragments that is sufficient to reconstruct the music that was fed in.
“The algorithm can then rearrange these fragments, based on the stimulus you input. So, give it some Ella Fitzgerald for example, and it will find and piece together the relevant bits of the ‘dictionary’ to create something in her musical space.”
Readers are warned that the 2021 'Eminem' track embedded below features, as the original song did, some explicit language.
As it presently stands, there’s no law against using this new technology to completely duplicate a famous singer’s style and sound.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to 30 Hertz having a massive hit with the reinvented track would be the copyright implicit in the original 1975 Labi Siffre track – played by Cockney heroes Chas and Dave – that provided Eminem with his original beat.
Nina Schick's book Deepfakes: The Coming Infocalypse, predicts that we will soon see a world where all music, movies and photographs will be made by AI.
“Some experts who I interviewed for my book said that within five to seven years’ time 90% of video content online is going to be synthetic,” she told the Daily Star.
“The ability of AI to generate actual fake synthetic media is something that’s only been around for about two and a half years and can be traced back to the revolution in deep learning over the last five years.”
But when it comes to the explosion of synthetic media, fake Eminem records and Tom Cruise videos are the least of our worries.
Dutch cybersecurity startup Deeptrace estimated in late 2019 that 96% of all deepfakes online were pornographic.
Sensity, another Dutch-based cybersecurity company set up to combat the growing menace of deepfakes, says that the number of deep fake porn clips – where the faces of innocent victims are added to the bodies of performers in explicit videos – is doubling every six months, and by summer 2021, there could be as many as 180,000 porn videos “starring” innocent people online.
By 2022, they say, that number will be more like 720,000 – and anyone is vulnerable. All that is required is a photo, video or audio recording of the victim.
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