Johnny Marr warns fans to “watch out” for fake AI-generated messages

“If anyone receives one please send them my details as I’d quite like to have a dialogue with AI Johnny.”

Photograph of Johnny Marr playing guitar on stage. The camera is pointed up at him from a low angle and shows his Jazzmaster guitar close in the frame.

Image: Shirlaine Forrest / Getty

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Johnny Marr has put out a warning online over AI-generated messages which appear to be from him, but are, of course, fake.

Although the guitarist has not addressed any specific examples, it appears that there are people using AI voice emulations of the former Smiths member and then reaching out to fans.

By utilising AI tech, people can create voice emulations of many different musicians and other people in the public eye. Marr took to X (formerly Twitter) yesterday (19 December) to warn fans not to fall for fake messages.

“Just a warning to people to watch out for fake messages from me generated by AI, including voice messages,” he writes. “If anyone receives one please send them my details as I’d quite like to have a dialogue with AI Johnny, who I really hope isn’t actually smarter than me…than I.”

One X user replied stating that they had received a fake message but chose to ignore it as something didn’t feel right:

Although AI is causing concern for many musicians over worries for the security of their jobs and intellectual property, others are choosing to embrace it to assist their work. Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree has released his first ever Christmas song, December Skies, which features lyrics written with AI platform, ChatGPT.

“I was shocked at how instantaneous and easy it was to guide it (‘don’t actually mention Christmas’ we said to it, ‘make it feel more lonely’…etc),” he said at its release.

“I’m still not entirely sure what I think about AI, the knee-jerk reaction is to consider it a threat to a musician like me, but it’s clearly not going away, so this is my experiment to try embracing it and using it as a tool in the creative process.”

Johnny Marr is due to tour from April 2024. View his official website for more information.

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