Kim Kwang-Seok voice recreation prompts concerns

Occurred: January 2021

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The recreation of late South Korean folk-rock singer Kim Kwang-Seok's voice for an AI-human singing competition prompted concerns from his fans and digital rights activists.

Kim's voice was brought to life using local AI company Supertone's Singing Voice Synthesis system to perform 'I miss you', a 2002 ballad by Kim Bum-soo, and performed as a duet with another singer for the 'Competition of the Century: AI vs Human' show on broadcast TV network SBS. 

The performance delighted Kim's fans. Howerver, despite the singer's family giving permission for the use of his voice, the show prompted concerns about plagiarism, copyright, and the potential misuse and abuse of deepfake technologies. 

The late singer died in 1996 aged 31 after a strong of hits. His death was officially attributed to suicide.


Operator: SBS
Developer: Supertone
Country: S Korea
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts  
Purpose: Recreate voice  
Technology: Deepfake - audio  
Issue: Ethics; Copyright; Dual/multi-use

Page info
Type: Issue
Published: January 2021
Last updated: January 2022