[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]
A couple of years ago, the biggest topic in music was NFTs. They were the future, until they weren’t. Last year, the only thing anyone (including me) could talk about was Web3 technology. This tech is still being developed and rolled out, but we’re not hearing as much about it. In 2023, the obsession is with artificial intelligence. So far, that shows no sign of abating. In fact, we need to talk about some of the latest developments when it comes to AI and music.
Music industry expects AI to be a big influence within the next year
That’s the opinion of Warner Music CEO Robert Kyncl. The Verge has this quote: “Look, you have to embrace the technology because it’s not like you can put technology in a bottle…like the genie is not going back in…Name, image likeness, and voice should have the same protections as copyright and the same simple protections as copyright, but it will take time. I believe it will get there, but it will take time. And in the meantime, we’ll work with the distribution platforms collaboratively to run ahead of that.”
Speaking of which…
Legality of AI-generated voice clones
Earlier this year, a YouTuber named Ghostwriter released a song that used AI-generated reasonable facsimiles of the voices of Drake and The Weeknd. Since then, artists, industry groups, publishers, performing rights organizations, and record labels have been scrambling to sort out the legalities of using AI in music. Musicians are especially worried that someone with a generative AI program will start cloning them without their permission and are looking for legal remedies. What’s more personal than someone stealing your voice?