Ongoing History Daily: AI and music

One of the biggest areas of computer science research is that of artificial intelligence. And because making music is such a human thing, scientists believe that creating a machine that makes credible, emotional, human-sounding music would be a massive breakthrough.

Meanwhile, lawyers are also interested in AI-created music because of this question: If a machine writes a piece of music, who owns the copyright and the intellectual property that goes with that music? Is it the person who created the software? The person who programmed the software to do something musical? Or is does the machine own the music?

This is a complicated question.

In Canada, copyright law specifies that music has to be created by a human—as long as they did something more than just turn on the machine. In America, there is no such “human” provision, but so far, US courts have ruled in favour of humans. But these are still early days.

Who knows how the law might evolve in the future?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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