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  • Mariane Bunn

The war against irresponsible AI: Billie Eilish, Katy Perry and other musicians.


AI generated image with a lot of artists turning their back to a stage with a band.

A group of 200 prominent musicians, including stars like Nicki Minaj, Billie Eilish, Katy Perry, and members of the Bob Marley estate, have united to issue a public plea to tech companies, urging them not to let artificial intelligence (AI) tools harm human creativity in music. These artists argue that AI, which can generate new music by learning from vast collections of existing songs, poses a significant threat to their privacy, identity, and livelihoods. They highlight that tech giants are using their music without permission to train these AI models, which could have devastating effects on musicians struggling to make ends meet.

 

The concern is that AI can create music that sounds similar to that of real artists, potentially replacing the need for human-made music in some contexts, such as TV commercials. This issue is part of a broader struggle musicians have faced with technology, from the challenges of music piracy to inadequate compensation from streaming services. The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers has been fighting for fairer streaming payouts, noting the scarce earnings artists receive per stream.

 

This movement against AI in music mirrors a similar stance taken by authors, with over 15,000 writers, including famous names like James Patterson and Suzanne Collins, protesting against AI's use of copyrighted material to generate new content. Despite these protests, tech companies continue to develop AI that can mimic the style of specific authors or musicians, raising concerns about copyright infringement and the dilution of human creativity. The musicians' letter calls for action to protect artists' rights and preserve the integrity of the music industry against the encroachment of AI.

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