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Musician clones herself into an AI deepfake voice

Illustration by Kate Walker

Musician clones herself into an AI deepfake voice


The Future. Berlin-based musician Holly Herndon released an AI tool, dubbed Holly+, that allows any artist to use an AI version of their voice for whatever song they’re working on. The tool is part of Herndon’s greater crusade of making AI a tool that artists can use for their benefit. It seems relatives themselves may need to be the ones to embrace the technologies that could replace them if they hope to control how they’re developed.

Solo duet

Holly Herndon thinks every band should include her.

  • Herndon launched an AI tool called Holly+ that allows other artists to use an AI version of her voice to create new music, mentions Insider.
  • This is how it works: artists upload an audio file, then the tool will create a new version of it using Herndon’s voice that can be downloaded and re-edited.

The tool has been used to create “glitchy electronic tracks to ambient compositions to more conventional pop songs,” while other artists used her voice more like another instrument, “chopping” it up “into nearly unrecognizable fragments or repurposing them as pieces of a sonic collage.”

Herndon herself (who has a Ph.D. in musical arts from Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics) has used her AI voice as a backup singer in live concerts. Double the Herndon for one price.


Of course, Herndon is not just interested in pushing the possibilities of AI — she wants to make some money and protect her reputation as well. To that end, she turned to Web3.

  • Herndon founded the Holly+ DAO, where artists who have made music using Holly+ can submit their work to be voted on if it should be minted into an NFT.
  • The NFT — the Web3 version of an “original pressing” — can then be auctioned. The revenue would be split between Herndon, the artist behind the new music, and the members of the DAO.

The voting mechanism is meant to ensure that only music that the DAO deems good enough for release actually gets “pressed.” Think of it as a decentralized record label doing quality control.

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