Global music superstar Bad Bunny has expressed outrage after an artificial intelligence (AI) generated song, using his digitally recreated voice, went viral on social media. The reggaeton-style track titled “Nostalgia” appeared on TikTok under the account “FlowGPT,” which claims to be the “first artist powered by GPT technology.”
While many fans praised the catchy song, Bad Bunny himself denounced it and lashed out at supporters of the AI track. The Puerto Rican singer’s angry reaction has sparked debate around the ethical use of AI to mimic human creativity without consent.
AI-Generated Song Takes Off on TikTok
Earlier this month, a TikTok account named FlowGPT began posting AI-produced songs in the style of popular Latin artists like Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber. Using advanced deepfake audio technology, FlowGPT creates instrumental tracks and then synthesizes the voices of famous singers.
One particular song, “Nostalgia,” caught fire on the platform, racking over 500,000 likes. The smooth reggaeton beat and lyrics lamenting lost love resonated with Bad Bunny fans. Many were convinced it was an unreleased track by the 28-year-old artist.
“This song should be a hit,” read one comment with over 20,000 likes. “It’s better than Bad Bunny’s last few albums,” wrote another user. Some fans begged the account to release a full-length version.
The FlowGPT creator remains anonymous but told Latin music magazine Ritmo Salvaje the vocal deepfake technology works by “analyzing a data set of an artist’s voice and using it to generate new singing based on the AI’s ‘understanding’ of the vocal style.”
While most users enjoyed the song and marveled at the AI, Bad Bunny himself did not share their amazement.
Bad Bunny Blasts Fans Who Liked AI Song
On November 7th, Bad Bunny took to his WhatsApp channel, followed by 19 million people, to address the AI song. In a scathing message, he denounced fans who enjoyed the “Nostalgia” track generated without his consent.
“If you guys like that s**tty song viral on TikTok, get out of this group right now,” wrote Bad Bunny in Spanish, according to translations. “You don’t deserve to be my friend and that’s exactly why I made the new album, to get rid of people like you.”
He went on to say he also did not want these followers attending his next tour. The rant continued, “So choo choo, get out. I don’t want you on tour either.”
The impassioned outburst surprised fans who had harmlessly appreciated the AI song. Many criticized Bad Bunny for gatekeeping his art and insulting supporters just for liking a catchy tune.
“He is so angry that an AI made better Bad Bunny songs than Bad Bunny himself,” one Twitter user pushed back. Others called the rant “disappointing” and an “immature response” stemming from feeling threatened by AI.
A minority of fans did take Bad Bunny’s side, arguing he has a right to feel violated by the AI replication of his iconic voice. “He makes what he wants to make — if you don’t like it, don’t listen,” one supporter tweeted. “Hating on AI fakes is not gatekeeping.”
Nonetheless, the heavy backlash against his vitriolic message dominated social media.
AI Voice Technology Sparks Wider Ethical Concerns
The “Nostalgia” debacle has ignited a larger debate about AI creativity and voice mimicry without consent. Artists like Drake, Beyonce, and Jay Z have also recently heard AI-simulated vocals attributed to them.
“This Bad Bunny situation really highlights the legal gray area around AI right now,” said tech ethics researcher Maya Cruz in an interview. “There are few regulations stopping someone from feeding hours of a singer’s voice into an algorithm and using it however they want.”
PeterOrganisciak, an assistant professor of communication studies, argues generating audio of real people without approval “raises serious ethical questions.”
“Voice is intensely personal,” he explained. “Its unauthorized synthetic reproduction rejects consent and autonomy.”
As deepfake technology becomes more advanced, calls for stricter rules around AI voice generation are growing louder. Recently, Congress held hearings over an AI voice mimicking a CEO’s speech to scam his employees.
“Once this technology becomes commonplace, we need protections against misuse and abuse,” said digital rights advocate Jeremy Gillula. “Basic consent should be required before producing any synthetic media of real people.”
Until comprehensive policies are implemented, artists may take reactive measures like lawsuits to combat unsanctioned AI voice creations.
Bad Bunny’s label Rimas Entertainment has not yet indicated if it will pursue legal action against FlowGPT. The account remains online but has not posted about the “Nostalgia” controversy.
Meanwhile, the wider music world grapples with thorny questions as AI capabilities expand. Can a machine truly create art or only mimic it? How does technology impact notions of originality and ownership? What are the bounds of ethics and legality when it comes to AI-powered synthetic media?
This clash over Bad Bunny’s digitally cloned voice has underscored the disruptive impact AI is having on multiple industries. While convenient and entertaining novelties emerge, human values and consent remain vital ethical considerations in our tech-driven world.
What’s Next for Bad Bunny and His Voice Impersonation
In the immediate future, Bad Bunny will likely face ongoing questions about his harsh denouncement while on his international tour supporting his latest album, Un Verano Sin Ti. Despite criticism, the outspoken Latin trap star rarely backs down from controversy.
Further Bad Bunny songs artificially generated without his approval may emerge on TikTok and other platforms. Greater awareness and objections from celebrities like Bad Bunny might prompt companies to strengthen policies around consent for synthetic media. However, limitations on AI creativity also face pushback in many sectors.
“This technology is unstoppable. It will take something like a global treaty to regulate synthetic voice and media broadly,” said Dr. Anima Anandkumar, AI expert and professor at Caltech University. “Until then, we are in an ethics wild west with different entities like tech firms, governments, and artists themselves trying to navigate rights and wrongs.”
For now, the debate sparked by Bad Bunny’s AI voice impersonation rages on. But this likely marks only the beginning of technology’s disruptive collision with the human creative arts. The shape of that future remains uncertain.