The legendary engineer shared a video on Instagram on Saturday (February 25) that showed a man creating a song from scratch using a Kendrick Lamar voice filter. The man briefly displayed how the filter changed his voice to sound exactly like K. Dot and proceeded to record an actual song that sounded like something the rapper would make.
According to Gu, A.I. voice technology poses a whole host of problems, especially if it gets into the wrong hands. In his caption, the Roc-A-Fella affiliate urged the powers that be to act fast and implement laws that would protect people from the possible dangers of such technology.
“This has dominated my Howard group chat for a couple days. Ok I’m at the point where I can voice my concerns with our current state of AI,” Young Guru began. “I have followed as many versions of what AI could do for some years now.
“I remember being at MIT and students showing me a project where they were actively feeding a computer ‘All’ the jazz records that ever existed. So that AI could analyze and create music in any style of any musician.”
He continued: “I didn’t think we would get here this fast with the voice. Of course my mind goes to the ethical and legal aspects of what can be done with programs like Tacotron 2. You add that to the power of ChatGPT and you realize we are in a very groundbreaking but dangerous moment. It’s not the tech, it’s the evil that men do with the tech.”
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Guru went on to explain that currently people can’t copyright a voice, which creates a dilemma with voice-altering technology as anyone can sound like someone else and effectively put words in their mouth.
“There are legal aspects because at this present moment you can’t copyright a voice. (Midler v. Ford Motor Co.),” he added. “You can copyright a song, or a speech but not the voice itself!!! You can literally create a song or an album in the voice of your favorite musician. And this is just music. The ability to create a Manchurian Candidate scares me. Think about that in every industry.
“There are still states that don’t even have a law against revenge porn. I’m sorry to go there but imagine the repercussion on our kids when 5 years from now some high school kid gets mad at his ex girlfriend and creates a whole ‘deep fake’ that sounds and looks real. Imagine the political landscape where we can’t believe anything we hear because someone will claim they didn’t say it. ‘It’s a Deep Fake,’ will be the same as saying ‘I got hacked.’”
Lastly, Young Guru warned that the use of artificial intelligence has just begun, and it’s only going to be more prevalent in the future. With that comes more people exploring — and potentially exploiting — the technology.
“I don’t even want to continue giving examples for fear that someone will go out and do it,” Guru added. “The law has to change to protect everyone not just Public Figures. And the super scary part is that we are just getting started, we feed the beast constantly everyday with more and more content to be studied. Maybe the Luddites had a point. The book by Gavin Mueller ‘Breaking Things At Work’ starts to take on a way more urgent role!!”
Artificial intelligence in Hip Hop is nothing new as the technology has been slowly creeping into the culture for several years. Kendrick Lamar used deep fake technology in his “Heart Part 5” music video, which saw his face morph into that of several celebrity including O.J. Simpson, Kanye West and the late Nipsey Hussle.
One of the most infamous cases of A.I. in Hip Hop came in 2022 when a virtual rapper named FN Meka broke onto the scene. The artificial rapper blew up on TikTok and signed to Capitol Records. However, the racist stereotypes behind Meka’s image ultimately sunk its ship.
Some real-life rappers commented on FN Meka, such as Krayzie Bone, who was upset he didn’t think of the idea first, but warned his peers A.I. could replace them at some point in the future.