Universal Music and Google are reportedly in negotiations over a tool that would
allow for the creation of AI tracks using artists’ likenesses in a legal way.
Universal Music Group — one of the world’s leading music companies — and Google are in
negotiations to license melodies and vocal tracks of artists to be used in songs generated by
artificial intelligence (AI), according to a report from the Financial Times.
The talks have been confirmed by what the FT reports are “four people familiar with the matter.”
The companies are reportedly aiming to create a partnership between the music
industry and Big Tech in order to manage the rampant emergence of AI-generated deep fakes.
Mainstream AI usage has sparked concern among major music industry leaders due to
the amount of “deep fakes” using musicians’ likenesses. Clips of AI-generated Drake
and Kanye West began to go viral around April. Many have since been taken down.
Reportedly, the discussions between the two industry giants are still in the early stages,
with no impending product launch or guidelines. However, the FT sources say the goal is to
develop a tool for creating tracks legally with copyrights rightly attributed.
In April, Universal Music Group asked streaming services like Spotify to remove all AI-generated content due to copyright infringement.
A few weeks later, Spotify said it was ramping up policing of the platform and
began actively taking down content in violation.
However, some artists are fully on board with their voices being used in AI-generated music.
Grimes said she’s eager to be a “guinea pig” for this type of content and will
split royalties 50/50 with the creators.
She also created her own voice simulation program alongside a team of developers which is available for public use called Elf Tech.
Google and Meta have both recently launched their own set of tools called Music
LM and AudioCraft for the purpose of creating music and audio using generative AI.
Many in creative industries are worried about the implications of AI being used to create artistic
and creative products. However, in an interview between Cointelegraph and the CEO of the
Recording Academy, he said AI can be used as a “creative amplifier.”