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Human vs. Machine: Will AI Compose the Future of Music?

Artificial intelligence (AI) poses a serious threat to musicians, prompting 200 artists to sign an open letter protesting against AI-powered tools.

The signatories, including Billie Eilish, Chaka Khan, Elvis Costello, Greta Van Fleet, Imagine Dragons, Jon Bon Jovi, Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, Mac DeMarco, Miranda Lambert, Nicki Minaj, and Sheryl Crow, urge tech companies and developers not to undermine human creativity in music with AI.

“If used irresponsibly, AI poses a major threat to our ability to protect our privacy, our identity, our music, and our livelihoods,” the letter reads. “Some large companies are using our work to train AI models without our permission. This will be devastating for many musicians, artists, and songwriters who are trying to make a living.”

Advancements in AI have made it possible to create believable deepfakes of popular artists, and this technology continues to improve. Companies like Adobe and Stability AI are working on AI music creation tools, using both licensed and unlicensed music to train their models.

Musicians have historically been hurt by technological advancements. File sharing made it easy to download music for free, and while the streaming industry emerged as a response, it hasn’t been satisfactory for artists.

Tech companies seem to be ignoring musicians’ concerns. You can still ask ChatGPT to write text in the style of Margaret Atwood, and while the output isn’t always good, it shows that the large language model has read “The Handmaid’s Tale” and can produce a modified, albeit weaker, version of it.

Since copyright laws aren’t necessarily equipped to address AI, any lawsuits against AI-powered tools are unlikely to succeed.

 

The letter highlights the following concerns:

AI threatens musicians’ privacy, identity, and livelihood.
Companies are using musicians’ work to train AI models without permission.
AI-generated music and deepfakes could devastate the music industry.
Tech companies are ignoring musicians’ concerns.
Copyright laws aren’t enough to address AI.

 

The letter calls for:

Tech companies to be more transparent about how they use AI.
Musicians to be given more control over how their work is used in AI models.
Governments to develop regulations to protect musicians from AI.

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