Music Artists Sign Open Letter Against “Predatory Use of AI”

music concert

200+ notable music artists have signed an open letter against generative AI, fearing companies can use their music to train models that can replace musicians altogether.

Songwriters and other musical artists have signed an open letter against the predatory use of AI. They claim that AI technology companies devalue the rights of human artists, allowing them to create models that can replace them altogether.

The letter is titled “Stop Devaluing Music” and a copy can be read on Medium.

The 200+ artists include names such as Billie Eilish, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Jon Bon Jovi, and Stevie Wonder. The concerns of the creative music industry are well-founded. Artists of all types ranging from digital painters and 3D modelers to video game designers and visual novel writers are voicing similar concerns.

Once trained on heaps of data, artificial intelligence LLMs (large language models) can create their own original works. How original this is, now that’s up for debate for a while now. If I train a small model on all the best fiction novels and fantasy collections in the world, then ask it to write me a new novel, and it ends up using some tropes that are common to a few popular works of literature, is it really original?

A human being is free to do this. This falls in inspiration. As long as you don’t directly copy Morgoth’s name for your own world or, for that matter, Eminem’s lyrics directly for your own commercial production, it’s fine.

But AI is not human. It digests significantly more information, outputs new work extremely fast, and is pretty efficient in doing all this. It simply cannot be compared to a human being. The human using it to create new music that’s quite similar to the style of a known artist, for example, is reaping benefits without compensating the AI, for whatever that’s worth.

The letter said that, “Unchecked, AI will set in motion a race to the bottom that will degrade the value of our work and prevent us from being fairly compensated for it.” The whole pop music industry is already in a race to the bottom in its own way, recycling the same stuff and kind of mass-producing lyrics and catchy tunes with hardly any creative effort, but it’s still human work.

And if that’s threatened, and AI pop artists start manufacturing catchy tunes in thousands, it will reshape the music industry as we know it. Real talent will go nowhere, of course. Unlike the job cuts that are soon coming, truly talented artists will forever remain in demand, but a large chunk of the music industry might become irrelevant, stopping innovation and experimentation in its tracks.

Categorized as Art Tagged

By Abhimanyu

Unwrapping the fast-evolving AI popular culture.