Stefanie Sun responds to popularity of her AI persona after covers of other artistes

The most popular video of the Singapore singer's AI recreation is a cover of Jay Chou’s Hair Like Snow

Stefanie Sun (left) in multicoloured shirt pointing mic towards audience and Jay Chou in black giving a V sign to the camera.
An AI recreation of Stefanie Sun’s (left) voice covering various songs, including some of Jay Chou’s (right), has gone viral on Chinese video platform Bilibili. (Photos:: Instagram/stefsunyanzi/Getty Images)

Is that Stefanie Sun singing Jay Chou’s song on Bilibili?

No, your eyes (and perhaps, ears) aren’t deceiving you. But, things are not what they seem and it is in fact, an AI recreation of the local songbird’s voice.

This digital recreation has gone viral on the Chinese video platform with hundreds of thousands of views - with some videos even garnering more than a million.

The most popular video, with more than two million views, is a cover of Jay Chou’s Hair Like Snow.

However, this surge in popularity for her AI voice has left the actual Stefanie Sun a little pessimistic.

On 23 May, the singer shared her thoughts on her Make Music blog and she wrote, “My fans have officially switched sides and accepted that I am indeed an ‘obscure singer’ while my AI persona is the current hot property.

“I mean really, how do you fight with someone who is putting out new albums in the time span of minutes?”

Taiwanese media reported that Sun’s management label isn’t considering legal action at the moment due to the lack of regulations for AI.

Sun likened the AI’s capability 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” to “what humans do” and said it’s a looming threat to many jobs, including hers.

Humans can’t do what AI can do

While she admitted that her fans might feel a lack of emotion from her AI voice, she reckoned it’ll only be a “short-term response”.

“Ironically, in no time at all, no human will be able to rise above that. No human will be able to have access to this amount of information and make the right calls or make the right mistakes,” she explained, adding that it’s possible she’s getting ahead of herself.

However, she pointed out that AI technology can “churn out what exactly everything everyone needs”.

Despite the impending ‘threat’ of AI, the singer ended off with a hopeful message.

“In this boundless sea of existence, where anything is possible, where nothing matters, I think it will be purity of thought, that being exactly who you are will be enough,” she wrote.

The surge of AI recreated voices has caused concern among some quarters because of how easily it could be abused, such as when deepfaked celebrity voices were used to spout racism and homophobia.

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