Home Technology AI-Generated Video of the Mona Lisa Rapping Sparks Strong Reactions From Viewers

AI-Generated Video of the Mona Lisa Rapping Sparks Strong Reactions From Viewers

The internet has reacted strongly to an artificial intelligence-generated video of the famous subject of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting singing along to a rap that actor Anne Hathaway wrote and performed.

The polarizing clip, which has elicited reactions online ranging from humor to horror, is one of the tricks of Microsoft’s new AI technology called VASA-1. The technology is able to generate lifelike talking faces of virtual characters using a single image and speech audio clip. The AI can make cartoon characters, photographs, and paintings sing or talk, as evidenced in footage Microsoft released as part of research published on April 16.

In the most viral clip, the woman in the Mona Lisa painting sings, her mouth, eyes and face moving, to “Paparazzi,” a rap Hathaway wrote and performed on Conan O’Brien’s talk show in 2011. In another Microsoft clip, an avatar sings, and in others generated from real photos, people speak on common-place topics.

The videos quickly gained traction online: One post on X, formerly Twitter, on April 18 featuring the singing Mona Lisa clip and others had garnered seven million views as of Sunday.

The online reactions were swift, strong and across the board. Some enjoyed the clips, with one commenter posting that the Mona Lisa video had them “rolling on (the) floor laughing.” Others were more wary or even disturbed. “This is wild, freaky, and creepy all at once,” one said. “Another day, another terrifying AI video,” another lamented. “Why does this need to exist? I can’t think of any positives,” one commenter criticized.

Microsoft’s researchers addressed the risks of the new technology and said they have no plans to release an online demo or product “until we are certain that the technology will be used responsibly and in accordance with proper regulations.” 

“It is not intended to create content that is used to mislead or deceive,” the researchers wrote. “However, like other related content generation techniques, it could still potentially be misused for impersonating humans. We are opposed to any behavior to create misleading or harmful contents of real persons, and are interested in applying our technique for advancing forgery detection.” 

“While acknowledging the possibility of misuse, it’s imperative to recognize the substantial positive potential of our technique,” they said. “The benefits—such as enhancing educational equity, improving accessibility for individuals with communication challenges, offering companionship or therapeutic support to those in need, among many others—underscore the importance of our research and other related explorations. We are dedicated to developing AI responsibly, with the goal of advancing human well-being.”

The latest development in AI comes as governments around the world are scrambling to regulate the new technology and legislate against its criminal misuse.

One example is deepfake pornography, where the face of an individual is superimposed onto an explicit picture or video without their consent, an issue that even affected Taylor Swift earlier this year. In the U.S., while 10 states criminalize deepfakes, federal law does not, and multiple bills have been introduced in Congress to rectify this.


Conquer Your Day, Unwind Your Way: Mastering Work-Life Balance

Feeling the hustle getting to you? Juggling work deadlines with that ever-growing social calendar...

Eric Schmidt and Yoshua Bengio Debate How Much A.I. Should Scare Us

Two top artificial intelligence experts—one an optimist and the other more alarmist about the technology’s future—engaged in a spirited debate at the TIME100 Summit...

Jon Stewart Is Right About the Dangers of AI

Recently Jon Stewart did a segment poking satire at the promises of AI highlighted by tech CEOs. I don't think automating your toasters is...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Monterrey vs. Columbus Crew odds, picks and predictions

Monterrey welcomes Columbus Crew to Estadio BBVA in Guadalupe, Mexico, Wednesday. Kickoff in the 2nd leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinals is set...

Proposal to enshrine Permanent Fund dividend in Alaska Constitution fails to clear House

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, said, "We don't have a problem spending money" during budget debate on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Juneau. He asked,...

Senate kills articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

An official Senate photograph shows senators taking the oath at the start of the Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday. (From U.S. Senate)The Senate has...

Man charged with sending threats to New York attorney general and judge in Trump civil suit

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York man has been charged with sending death threats to the state attorney general and the Manhattan judge...

Recent Comments