AI-cloned Stefanie Sun songs go viral in China

Occurred: May 2023

AI-cloned songs in the name and voice of retired Singapore-based Mandopop singer Stefanie Sun went viral in China, raising questions about copyright and jobs in the music industry.

Generated using so-vits-svc fork, an open source software that enables anyone to train their own AI model to speak in any voice and language, the videos, dubbed AI Stefanie Sun (AI孙燕姿), went viral on China's most popular video platform Bilibili and other platforms

Fans and commentators reported it was difficult to distinguish between songs sung by Sun and her virtual version, and lamented her loss of copyright. By contrast, Sun, who had not released an album since 2017, responded primarily by lamenting AI's impact on jobs: 

'Whether it is ChatGPT or AI or whatever name you want to call it, this "thing" is now capable of mimicking and/or conjuring,  unique and complicated content by processing a gazillion chunks of information while piecing and putting together in a most coherent manner the task being asked at hand. Wait a minute, isn't that what humans do? The very task that we have always convinced ourselves; that the formation of thought or opinion is not replicable by robots, the very idea that this is beyond their league, is now the looming thing that will threaten thousands of human conjured jobs. Legal, medical, accountancy, and currently, singing a song.'

System 🤖

Operator: Bilibili; Kuaishou; Tencent/QQ Music
Developer: Anonymous/pseudonymous
Country: China; Singapore
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Generate music
Technology: Deepfake - audio, image; video; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Copyright; Employment - jobs
Transparency: Governance; Marketing 

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: May 2023