As artificial intelligence continues to gain popularity among individuals and businesses, more and more stars are speaking out about its use.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Cher expressed her fears about the technology after hearing someone use her voice to cover a Madonna song.
“Someone had me perform a Madonna song, and it was pretty shocking,” she said.
“They didn’t fully understand it. But also, I spent my whole life trying to be myself, and now these assholes are going to accept it? And they’ll do my acting, and they” Am I going to sing? It’s just that it’s out of control.”
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She continued: “I tell you, if you work forever to become someone – and I don’t mean someone in the famous money end – but an artist, and then someone one takes it from you, it seems like it should be illegal.”
AI expert Marva Bailer told Fox News Digital that stars have legal recourse for unauthorized use of their likeness or voice.
“The laws in place already are: you need permission to use a person’s image, and an image can be their song, their voice, their image or their performance. These laws exist,” a- she declared.
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“But what we’re seeing now is that with the use of AI, the general public’s access to the tools to create these real-life images or performances is now really available. And before, you had to have knowledge and use of these more complicated editing tools. Now we can take our phone and delete someone from a photo with one swipe. What’s happening now is simply access. The laws therefore exist, but you must find out what is wrong with this image and likeness.
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Bailer added that the onus is on the artist to prove that they were not involved in creating the project in the first place, but it can be difficult to find and identify the situation.
Some may find Cher’s concerns about technology ironic, as her Grammy-winning song “Believe,” released in 1998, is credited with the first use of autotune.
Cher, in her interview with the AP, pointed out that at the time it was called a “pitch machine,” and she had argued with producer Mark Taylor over the use of the technology.
“It started and it was like, ‘Oh my God, this is the best thing ever.’ And I thought, “You don’t even know it’s me. It’s the best thing ever.’ And then we congratulated each other,” she recalls.
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Bailer notes that Cher’s computer-altered vocals on the song were clearly planned.
“It’s the artist’s choice whether someone takes their voice or their performance and makes it into something they didn’t authorize, it’s absolutely not the same thing.”
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Selena Gomez also recently said that the use of her voice in a cover of an AI-generated song was “creepy.”
A social media account created a version of her ex-boyfriend, singer The Weeknd’s 2016 song “Starboy” using his voice.
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The clip featured Gomez’s fake voice singing the song’s pre-chorus, “The house is so empty, I need a centerpiece / Twenty shelves per table, carved from ebony / Cut this ivory into skinny bits / Then she cleans it with her face, man, I love my baby, ah / You’re talking about money, I need a hearing aid / You’re talking about me, I can’t see the shadow / Change my style, I take any path / I change my cup, I kill no pain.”
The video’s caption translated from Turkish read: “How did you find Selena’s viral cover of Starboy voiced with artificial intelligence?”
In the comments on the post, Gomez responded by simply writing, “Scary.”
Bailer explains that part of an artist’s concern when it comes to randomly AI-generated songs is distracting them from their actual work.
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In Gomez’s case, she released her latest song, “Single Soon,” in August, two months after the AI bootleg of “Starboy.”
“What’s really concerning right now about Selena Gomez’s current situation is that as an artist, she’s trying to release a new song. And we want to bring attention to the new song and the performance .We don’t want that reflected in all that noise in “It’s the background. And that’s where it gets really difficult, when a publicist has a whole story plan, and then these bad actors come in, and they really interrupt that flow and distract the fans,” Bailer explained.
However, these same fans can play a role in protecting their favorite artists.
Gomez has 420 million followers on Instagram and is one of the top 20 followed on X, giving her a lot of eyes on everything about her, authorized or not.
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“Fans now have the ability to find the people who are harming their stars,” Bailer said. “Because at the end of the day, when someone uses AI or computer graphics to use a performance that is not authorized, the fans will know, and they will be the first to call it out. And so there really has a balance of a lot of people now trying to harm artists on a large scale. But on the other side you have the fans who are really protective of these artists because these artists are family to them.
Coincidentally, The Weeknd had his voice and style, as well as that of rapper Drake, imitated by AI earlier this year.
In April, a song called “Heart on my Sleeve” went viral on TikTok and the lyrics focused on Gomez.
The creator of the song goes by the name @GhostWriter on TikTok and has shared several videos on the account using the new song.
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The original video announcing the song currently has 10 million views. Three other videos shared by @GhostWriter each have just over a million views.
According to Bailer, Gomez continues to appear in these storylines because of her popularity.
“What people do is create these stories using music, and they put innuendo into these stories to elicit a reaction,” she said. “And then they get this kind of back-and-forth backlash. And they do it for attention. And it’s bad attention.”
This attention can also apply to anyone outside of the celebrity world.
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Bailer explains that people are accustomed to memes, edited images and other creations, but there is a downside.
“Where it becomes difficult is when it is then used as something with a monetary implication, or when it is used to make decisions and present yourself as a person of authority,” she said. declared. “And that’s not right. So we really need to, as the general public, be on the lookout for misguided actors and keep ourselves safe.”