The Future of AI-Generated Music

That’s right, the moment movies like Will Smith’s I, Robot have warned us about is finally here: computers are taking over the world, or maybe just the music industry. Within the last week, music fans everywhere were shocked to learn that the viral song “Heart on My Sleeve” was released on all streaming platforms, not because their favorite artists Drake and The Weeknd collaborated on the track, but because it actually wasn’t them at all.

Advances in AI have gotten to the point where the technology can quickly create new songs that sound like they’re the work of real artists. It has left fans, artists, labels and lawyers wondering how far this technology can go and the legal representation it will attain. As of now, the record label Universal Music Group, which represents both Drake and The Weeknd, has made a public statement claiming that “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.” There’s also a risk that this AI technology could create lyrics that are much more controversial and potentially damaging to a singer’s reputation.

The song, created by the artist currently known as Ghostwrider, famously known for their appearance wearing a white sheet with dark glasses, is continuing to release more viral hits including similar vocals from artists like Bad Bunny, Rhianna and more, despite their content continuously being taken down. It’ll be interesting to see how AI continues to evolve and what legal repercussions for artists like Ghostwrider will face.

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10 thoughts on “The Future of AI-Generated Music

  1. It feels like companies just do not value human creativity at times. Is it possibly because of the way our society is structured? I feel as though U.S culture praises the shiny + new while tossing aside the old. It makes sense why so many creatives are going on strike to demand job security.

    In a way, it’s crazy because if we lose human creativity how will an AI progress? If the way the system is set up now relies on human ingenuity to suck out, if the humans all decide “screw this, I’m out”, what will happen to AI generated art?

    From a more legal perspective, it might be hard to create laws because of how we don’t classify AI as something that CAN be charged with a crime. And it’s murky if the courts can go against individuals who tasked the AI with creating art.

  2. I think it will be extremely difficult for music label companies to fully eradicate the use of AI in music production thanks to fair use in copyright. Producers like Ghostwriter can “produce” songs/instrumentals and add in voices from popular artists with the help of AI and get away with it (albeit not for very long) because, in a way, they’re not pulling tunes or lines that the artists/producers have created themselves. It’s a little tricky to explain, but I think that overall, people like Ghostwriter produce these AI-generated songs as a way to “meet the desires” of music fans. I’d like to think they did it out of curiosity more than out of desire for monetary gain. However, I do agree that AI-produced music can put the reputation of an artist at risk quite easily.

  3. The recent releases of songs that mimic the voices of well-known artists raise concern about AI’s ability to undermine human creativity. AI has demonstrated that, in the near future, it may be able to take over humans’ roles in creating art not only in the form of songs but also literature, paintings, and more. As a result, those who once considered pursuing a career that involves using free thinking to create art may be deterred from doing so by AI. Ultimately, art is at risk of losing its authenticity and real human creativity to advanced technology. Furthermore, AI raises many questions regarding legality as it seems to threaten copyrighted material in its ability to make heavy use of artists’ original works to generate its own art. For example, we must now address such questions as who gets to decide what AI-generated songs can stay on streaming platforms, and how should we compensate artists who AI gets its inspiration from for generating new art. Overall, AI is sure to drastically change many aspects of various art industries.

  4. There was a comment under this post that suggests that AI music will just make the music industry shift around it, not make it go away. I agree with this sentiment and think that AI will probably be used as a tool for some artists. Although I do. not support how AI is being used to sound like artists, as mentioned before, maybe this will cause some artists to shift how they make their music or how their music sounds. Like Kendrick Lamar says in his verse in Beyonce’s “America Has A Problem”, he says that AI has a problem cloning Kendrick because of the way he writes his verses. However other artists who have been copied by AI, such as Drake, have a harder time escaping AI, and maybe this will just force them to change the way they write their music or produce their music.

  5. AI art is just a new form of art that’s been introduced to the world, so like previous forms of art like photography or sound in film, there’ll be a lot of criticism as to how it’ll work. Past critiques on photography have questioned who the artist was, the photographer or the one that created whatever subject that’s in the image, similarly, AI art will question who the artist is: the robot or the person using it? This will stir a couple of opinions, but overall I doubt AI music will go away, but I do think some restrictions might be enforced in the future since it’s also dangerous how people could be framed with false AI-generated material.

  6. While some may argue that AI-generated music is a form of creative art, using AI to generate music such as a collaborative mixtape of songs may have legal implications. Ghostwriter’s situation has aspects of plagiarism since he is utilizing parts of other musicians’ music in his own viral hits. Additionally, intentionally producing a collaboration between two artists who had no intention of collaborating in the first place seems disrespectful of the artist’s wishes. The direct involvement of AI in our lives now might beg the question: will the renowned music producers in the music industry be replaced by AI? AI can learn to read or express emotions, but I believe technology will never be able to convey empathy as humans do. Since the main goal of music is to communicate feelings, human-programmed technology cannot reach the same level of emotion-sharing as humans themselves can.

  7. When I first heard the song “Heart on My Sleeve”, I went to Spotify to find it, just to find out it was not an official song and it was in fact, AI generated. I have been hearing more AI generated songs recently from big name artists and I can no longer tell if the song is real or not. I did not think about the fact that the lyrics in AI songs could tarnish an artists reputation if it is indistinguishable from a genuine song from the artist. It makes me wonder how these artists feel and if they might even take credit for an AI generated hit and claim it as their own in the near future.

  8. Actually while taking tests or doing homework I usually have a song stuck in my head. Today I just finished an exam and instead of an officially released song, it was “Heart of my Sleeve” by Ghostwriter. I think that there are good arguments for both sides for keeping or getting rid of the music. In my opinion, not only did Ghostwriter take the artists’ sounds, but he also added some awesome lyrics and production on top of it. Up until now I’ve noticed on Tiktok and Instagram that most of the AI stuff is humorous in nature and not at all defamation or anything. Most people are actually for it because it’s incredibly funny(think of the presidential AI and other drake memes). To my knowledge this is the first time that a company got upset at someone for using AI to create something new. And that’s mostly because it was not for humor, but trying to be real art.
    So far, I think that it’s ok for AI to be used in this way. Not only is Ghostwriter adding his own production, lyrics, and artistic direction to the music, but they’re publishing the music in their own name. In my opinion, this is the nicest and purest way to use AI to create art. I think if people want to get upset about this, they are in a world of hurt when people start to abuse AI and use it for other purposes that are not humorous.

  9. As someone who creates visual art, the concept of AI art is not new to me, but this article was the first time I have heard about it being used to make music. I’m not sure why, but it didn’t even occur to me that artificial intelligence could be successfully used to create auditory art. Music seems like it would be more complicated for AI than visual art, although it may just appear that way to me since I have no experience with making music. The repercussions of AI use on copyright law will certainly be an interesting issue to keep track of, especially when considering how AI art could contribute to defamation of character if it created songs with lyrics that promoted messages the original artists did not support.

  10. Hello Sam!

    Your article is very relevant to the many copy write issues facing the music industry today. As AI continues to advance in many unprecedented and creative ways, I wonder what other industries will be affected, or maybe a more relevant question to ask is if any industry is safe from the threat of AI takeover? Over the weekend Drake responded to an AI cover song of him singing Ice Spice’s “Munch,” with an instagram story reading “this is the final straw AI.” These modern world problems are being encountered more and more often as the introduction of AI technology has sparked the start of amending laws and social norms to protect real people against AI. This issue is widely debated on Tik Tok, with many users stating valid arguments to both sides of the issue. Some people see these AI song covers as harmless songs that are providing an endless list of collaborations die hard fans have spent years begging for. Others see this issue as a further loss of humanity and emotion in the music industry that could pose a serious threat to even the most talented of ghost writers. I personally love the AI generated song, “Heart on My Sleeve.” However, I am also unsettled by the accuracy and authenticity of the lyrics. As much as I would love for Drake and the Weekend to collaborate, I think a line needs to be drawn between technology and the creative arts.

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