"We determined just about everything he has is fake."

Thinkin Bot You

A scammer claims to have made thousands of dollars by selling "leaked" tracks putatively by auteur R&B singer-songwriter Frank Ocean, Vice reports, that were actually generated by AI.

The incident highlights how AI-generated music is already having a disruptive effect on the music industry, with record labels and musicians getting caught up in a game of whack-a-mole to stop fake tracks from being swept up and shared by fans.

It's also a waypoint that goes to show just how convincing the tech has become, with cloned, AI-generated vocals becoming almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

Super Rich AIs

The scammer, who goes by the name mourningassasin, told Vice that they hired a musician to create nine tracks that made use of "very high quality vocal snippets" of Frank Ocean's voice. After uploading one of these tracks, mourningassasin noticed "everyone started to believe it."

The scammer said they had made almost $10,000 from selling the tracks to collectors.

"We determined just about everything he has is fake," Gamma, the owner of a Discord server focused on rare Frank Ocean tracks, wrote in an announcement, as quoted by Vice.

The scammer took advantage of the fact that Ocean's fans are desperate for him to release new music. His last full album dates back to 2016.

Ocean is a famously reclusive figure. After he made a disastrous appearance at Coachella last month, the artist hinted at a new album, leading to widespread speculation.

In MAI Room

The topic of AI-generated music has reached a fever pitch over the last couple of months.

Last month, record label Universal Music Group forced a viral track that used the AI-generated vocals of Aubrey "Drake" Graham and Abel Makkonen "the Weeknd" Tesfaye to be taken offline.

Now that the new "leaked" Frank Ocean tracks have turned out to be fake, fans are understandably upset.

"This situation has put a major dent in our server's credibility, and will result in distrust from any new and unverified seller throughout these communities," Gamma told Vice.

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