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AI and music: Billie Eilish, Sheryl Crow and Jon Bon Jovi among the list of artists calling for more protection


Billie Eilish, Nicki Minaj and Jon Bon Jovi are among hundreds of musicians who have signed an open letter warning artificial intelligence developers against using the technology to generate music.

The list of about 200 artists, which also includes J Balvin and Sheryl Crow, signed an open letter written by the Artist Rights Alliance, an advocacy group, calling for AI developerstech companies and digital music services to “stop using AI to undermine and devalue the rights of human artists.”

The alliance, which is led by industry veterans, said in the letter that it believes AI has “enormous potential” to advance human creativity in ways that create new and exciting experiences for fans, but that it should be used responsibly.

Its concerns revolve around the invasion of artists’ privacy, the use of their identities without their consent, and the use of their music to train AI models.

“Some of the largest and most powerful companies are using our work to train Al models without permission,” the letter reads.

“These efforts are aimed directly at replacing the work of human artists with massive amounts of Al-created “sounds” and “images” that significantly dilute the royalties paid to artists.”

Artists fear that methods using AI will harm songwriters. Photo: iStock

The alliance calls on developers, technology companies and platforms offering online music to commit not to develop or deploy AI music generation tools or content that “would undermine or replace the human artistry of songwriters and artists or would deny us fair compensation for our work.” “.

Jen Jacobsen, executive director of the alliance, said: “If there are services and platforms that are flooding the market with AI-generated content, it honestly becomes a sea of ​​noise, much of it n It is not man-made and therefore dilutes the noise. royalty pool.

“So there’s a lot of music that’s not being paid to human artists. And those who are creating music aren’t getting the royalties that are due to them.”

Phil Kear, assistant general secretary of the musicians’ union, said many musicians in the UK are already using AI in different ways. “But I think in terms of generative AI, where it’s a massive ingestion of copyrighted works that already exist, I think that can’t continue without any payment or any form of recognition of original artists and creators,” he said. added.

This letter is the latest development in a broader industry backlash against the use of generative AI when it leads to infringement of copyright and workers’ rights.

In March, Tennessee became the first US state to pass legislation intended to protect musicians from having their voices generated by AI for commercial purposes. The law comes into force at the beginning of July.

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The European Union recently approved the world’s first comprehensive set of regulations to govern artificial intelligence, which music industry bodies, including CISAC, the composers’ association, have praised for giving musicians the tools necessary to assert their rights to their work.

EU AI law will divide the technology into risk categories, with different requirements for each level.

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The riskiest technologies are completely banned, while companies producing “limited risk” technologies must comply with transparency obligations.

The exact nature of these obligations is still unclear.

The law is expected to be implemented in 2025.

The UK has AI guidelines – but they are not legally binding – and it should carefully draw on the EU plan.


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