A Look At The 7 Core Principles For The Future Of AI Music

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hot topic of conversation in technology these days, and because of all the hype, it’s rightfully scaring musicians, artists, bands, managers, and even labels everywhere. “Who owns the copyright?” “Will a machine get paid instead of me?” “Will AI write better tunes than me?” These are questions that many of us have. To help musicians and creatives put their collective minds at ease, a coalition of music industry organizations have joined together to release a series of 7 core principles regarding artificial intelligence.

7 core principles for AI music's future
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Among the 40 different groups that have joined the the Human Artistry Campaign include the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI and more.

You can read more about the organizations that form the group group and the mission of the Human Artistry Campaign here, but the 7 core principles regarding to AI and creatives are below (along with some of my commentary).

1 – Technology has long empowered human expression, and AI will be no different. The music industry has always evolved along with technology going back as far as piano rolls and shellac records, and it will with AI as well.

2 – Human-created works will continue to play an essential role in our lives. If anything, a work created by a human may be more starkly apparent than ever. As we’ve seen with loops and samples, things can start to sound the same after a while and consumers long for a new out-of-the-box experience, which many feel only a human can provide.

3 – Use of copyrighted works, and use of the voices and likenesses of professional performers, requires authorization, licensing, and compliance with all relevant state and federal laws. Copyright and AI-generated material is still a legal gray area, but it’s such a sensitive topic that already the Copyright Office has issued guidelines on the subject that say that there must be at least some human input for a work be be copyrightable. Copyright law has needed to be updated for some time as technology has moved swiftly beyond existing statutes, but the rapid ascent of AI might be just the push that Congress needs to initiate new legislation.

4 – Governments should not create new copyright or other IP exemptions that allow AI developers to exploit creators without permission or compensation. As the core principle document states, “Creating special shortcuts or legal loopholes for AI would harm creative livelihoods, damage creators’ brands, and limit incentives to create and invest in new works.”

5 – Copyright should only protect the unique value of human intellectual creativity. It’s bad enough that corporations have the same rights as individuals. It would be even worse if AI would have the same or more favorable rights as creators.

6 – Trustworthiness and transparency are essential to the success of AI and protection of creators. “Complete recordkeeping of copyrighted works, performances, and likenesses, including the way in which they were used to develop and train any AI system, is essential. Algorithmic transparency and clear identification of a work’s provenance are foundational to AI trustworthiness.” It’s important that we are able to identify an AI-derived work when presented.

7 – Creators’ interests must be represented in policymaking. When crafting new laws, its incumbent upon legislators to consider the human aspect of creativity and how it’s an essential part of any AI-driven work.

These 7 core principles are an excellent framework to begin work on the much-needed next set of copyright laws that will take us into the future of music and art.

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