• Monday, July 15, 2024
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ARA calls for caution on AI use in music industry

ARA calls for caution on AI use in music industry

The Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), representing over 200 artists and songwriters, has issued an open letter urging technology companies to stop using AI in ways that devalue human creativity and artist rights.

Billie Eilish, Nicki Minaj, Pearl Jam, Kacey Musgraves, Metro Boomin’, Chuck D, Robert Smith, Kim Petras, Jon Bon Jovi, Sam Smith, The Last Dinner Party, and others penned the letter titled, “Stop Devaluing Music.’

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The letter highlights AI’s potential for artistic advancement while expressing concern over its possible misuse. While acknowledging AI’s benefits for creative exploration, the ARA criticises its use “to sabotage creativity and undermine artists.”

The letter avoids naming specific companies but emphasises the unauthorised use of artist works to train AI models. The core concern centres on the potential for AI-generated music to flood the market, diluting royalty pools and jeopardising artists’ livelihoods.

The alliance warned that unchecked AI development could lead to a “race to the bottom,” with platforms prioritising readily available AI-created music over human-made works.

The letter concluded with a call to action, urging AI developers, tech companies, music platforms, and streaming services to commit to not developing or deploying AI music technology that replaces human artistry or unfairly reduces artist compensation.

This development comes against the backdrop of growing capabilities in AI music generation. As reported by BusinessDay in April 2023, advancements like OpenAI’s GPT-4 upgrade allow AI to compose music, potentially affecting artists.

However, some experts believe AI lacks the inherent creativity of human musicians, and others are worried about job displacement in the music industry.

Peter Dukes, a prominent director and producer, emphasised the importance of ethical considerations in AI development. Dukes stressed the need for companies to obtain artist consent, ensure proper credit and compensation, and maintain transparency throughout the process.

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The ARA’s letter serves as a reminder of the ongoing debate surrounding AI and its impact on the creative industry. As AI capabilities continue to evolve, navigating the balance between technological advancement and artist rights will be critical.