'Project Gucciberg' Creates Audiobooks Read By Gucci Mane Using Deepfake Technology

MSCHF shared their latest creation, a series of audiobooks "read" by Gucci Mane. The books were created using a deepfake AI that was fed Gucci interviews.

The homepage of 'Project Gucciberg'

Image via MSCHF

The homepage of 'Project Gucciberg'

The internet tricksters behind those prized holy water Nikes have a new, deeply weird project to gin up clicks. MSCHF just shared what they’ve been working on recently: a deepfaked Gucci Mane reading classic books. The series, known as Project Gucciberg, filters Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice and others through Gucci’s Zone 6 drawl.

The Gucciberg fakes are fairly convincing, coming from an AI that was taught to speak like the rapper using troves of interviews. Dan Greenberg of MSCHF noted the difficulties of translating Gucci’s unique speech patterns so that the robots tasked with faking his voice might understand it.

“Gucci’s pronunciation follows a very particular cadence — he uses a much greater variety of vowel sounds, for instance, than your average TTS reader would,” Greenberg told The Verge. “The dictionary breaks words up into phonemes (discrete vocal gestures) that our model then uses as building blocks … So for a simple example, we need our model to know what syllables to elide, or flow into each other across words: it needs to know to say “talm ‘bout” not ‘talking about,’ and the Gucci dictionary { T AH1 L M B AW1 T } gets us there where the written words ‘talking about’ do not.”

MSCHF fully admits that they are on shaky ethical and legal grounds with their latest project. They didn’t ask to use Gucci’s voice. They didn’t get permission to recreate the novels in question. As with all things deepfake-related, the law has yet to catch up.

”We didn’t write the books, and we deepfaked the voice,” MSCHF shared. “Is this copyright infringement? Is it identity theft? All of the training data (recordings) used to make Project Gucciberg were publicly available on the web. Gucciberg lives in that lovely grey area where everything’s new and anything goes.” 

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