Jun 5, 2024

FKA Twigs Trained Her Own AI Copy. Ph.D. Student Sarah Barrington Explains to Vox What’s Different.

From Vox

Can artists use their own deepfakes for good?

By Celia Ford

A month ago, the genre-bending electronic musician FKA Twigs testified before the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, urging policymakers to protect artists from being exploited by AI, whether from using their voice to generate songs, copying their likeness to create pornography, or scraping their body of work for training data.

Watching a C-SPAN2 video of a buttoned-up woman who, in my mind, is usually a goddess plummeting down a pole into a golden-red underworld was fascinating. Senators watched silently as Twigs, legal name Tahliah Debrett Barnett, told them, “My art is the canvas on which I paint my identity and the sustaining foundation of my livelihood.” Generative AI, she said, “threatens to rewrite and unravel the fabric of my very existence...”

The difference between OpenAI’s Sky and AI Twigs “is the idea of consent,” Sarah Barrington, an engineer, AI researcher, and deepfake detection expert at the UC Berkeley School of Information, told me. Twigs gave consent, while Johansson did not...


Sarah Barrington is a Ph.D. candidate at the I School, advised by Professor Hany Farid. She graduated from the MIMS degree program in 2023.

Last updated: June 11, 2024