Holly Herndon Studio

Holly Herndon

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Breaking the Wall of Digital Identities

Holly+ is Holly Herndon’s digital twin. She is using machine learning to create free online instruments for anyone to create art with her AI voice, as part of a project experimenting with the economy around her digital likeness

Her model for digital identities challenges pessimistic narratives around “deepfakes”. Hundreds now hold partial governance of Holly’s digital twin as part of Holly+ DAO, where they can vote on appropriate usage. Once approved, art made with her voice can be verified by tracing its provenance back to the public Holly+DAO identity. This means that if a piece of media is created that is offensive or uncharacteristic, it can easily be dismissed unless approved by voting stewards.

Holly refers to this permissive approach to IP in the AI era as “Identity Play”. Rather than prohibiting people from using her digital voice, she instead proposes a positive vision in which anyone may be invited to experiment with someone else’s identity in a fair and transparent manner.

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