Whether you’re a Gen Z’er or an avid scroller on TikTok, I’m sure you’re familiar with AI. This latest tech trend is snatching the wheel and leading us down an unknown path to music evolution or so it seems.
With technology advancing rapidly, artificial intelligence has a prominent role in some of our favorite songs. Apps like Perplexity AI and Natural AI allow consumers to mix and match music by putting their favorite artists’ voices over other songs. While this could seem innovative to experiment with music production, it can also negatively affect artists and producers.
“I would define ‘AI music’ as the AI implementation within the music creation process. Nothing can really take away the human element, so even though the technology is advancing, that AI element is really just a reflective output (a mirror) of the human’s input,” Futurist and Entertech Pioneer Sierra Imari told GU.
Who knew that one day the question regarding our favorite singers on certain hit songs could become so accessible? The answer to this question is served on a silver platter with a side of competition because AI is bringing the sounds of “would’ve, could’ve and should’ve.” It’s true, some of your faves are getting a calorie-burning run for their money.
Recently a series of tracks have been released featuring artists like Drake, Ice Spice and Rihanna covering today’s biggest hits. Listeners raved upon hearing Rihanna’s voice sampled over Tems “Free Mind” and “Wait For You.” After a seven-year album hiatus, fans don’t mind settling for her AI clone. Her voice over these tracks is sure to quench our thirst and curiosity.
Even celebrities like Keke Palmer reacted via Twitter, stating, “That Rihanna AI is eating all y’all songs up.” Many fans agree with her, while others hate this forced comparison as it overshadows originality.
Although experimenting with AI can be a fun and creative experience, the boundary is questionable. This question was proposed when a clip of an AI record surfaced using the voice of Michael Jackson over Ice Spice’s “Munch.” Upon hearing this, fans didn’t know whether to clutch imaginary pearls or laugh out loud. The voice of the late Michael Jackson used playfully over this viral hit is deemed distasteful. This reaction has made many questions the boundaries between AI and established artists.
Artists like Drake have their own AI page dedicated to them via TikTok where AI creators have written and produced music using their voices. Many fans question whether AI artists are better than real artists. Not only are the comparisons immoderate but fans are streaming the music as if these artists are on the record.
“The boundary is doing it at all,” said producer TnTXD. “There’s nothing wrong with experimenting because we’re all curious, but the line is crossed when you interfere with the artist’s streams and sales.”
After a viral clip of his voice over Ice Spice’s “Munch” surfaced, Drake has finally responded via social media saying, “This the final straw, AI.”
Not only is Drake taking a stance, but Universal Music Group is also encouraging streaming platforms to block AI apps from freely infringing upon copywritten music as it poses a threat to real artists and a mockery to preexisting art.
“The training of generative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law) as well as the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs, begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation,” a UMG representative stated.
However, the question still stands regarding a boundary for AI music. At what point do artists have the right to preserve their music and voices from allowing the public to manipulate their reality preferences? “AI will be a way to benefit music while integrating intelligence in a helpful way, but it will not go far in copying music,” TnTXD said.