Holly Herndon has launched a new ‘digital twin’ version of herself called Holly+. The new virtual alternative is built using machine learning and AI and can sing any song or melody uploaded to the Holly+ website in Holly’s voice. Anyone can upload any audio file and the AI instrument – made in conjunction Never Before Heard Sounds – will attempt to recreate it based on thousands of hours of machine learning.
But it gets more innovative – the intellectual property of any recreations will then be subject to a newly-created Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO). Any funds generated by the usage and licensing of the tools will be shared with the co-op to fund new tool development. Eventually, approved art made with Holly+ will be able to be auctioned via NFT auction platform Zora.
“Vocal deepfakes are here to stay,” said Herndon. “A balance needs to be found between protecting artists and encouraging people to experiment with new and exciting technology. That is why we are running this experiment in communal voice ownership.”
While DAOs, deepfakes and AI have been circling the music industry for some time, it’s the first time an artist has cloned a version of themselves for the benefit of a wider creative community. Find out more about Holly+ here, from Holly Herndon herself. Try out Holly+ for yourself here.