Google in Talks with Major Music Labels to License Artists’ Voices for AI-Generated Songs
Concerns surrounding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in creative industries have been a major topic of discussion. One of the fears is that AI could potentially replace actors and writers, leading to strike actions in Hollywood. In line with this, Google is reportedly in talks with major music labels to license artists’ voices and tunes for AI-generated songs.
According to a report by the Financial Times, Google has engaged in discussions with Universal Music and Warner Music regarding this prospect. The aim is to develop a tool that would allow fans and creators to make tracks using recognizable vocals and melodies legitimately. This would be done by paying the copyright owners, with artists having the option to opt out.
The talks between Google and Universal Music, which represents renowned artists such as Taylor Swift, Drake, Ariana Grande, and Billie Eilish, are said to be in the early stages. However, there is no indication of an imminent product launch. When contacted by Sky News, none of the companies involved commented on the report.
The rise of “deepfake music” has become a concern for labels, artists, and fans alike. As generative AI tools become more powerful and accessible, the ability to create convincing AI-generated music has increased. Sky News has reported on examples such as a fake collaboration between The Weeknd and Drake, a new cover by Michael Jackson, and even Kanye West singing country tunes.
This has led to calls for appropriate regulations within the industry. While some artists are embracing the technology, such as Canadian star Grimes who allows fans to access her “voiceprint” to create songs that sound like her own, others are concerned about the potential misuse of AI-generated music.
Earlier this year, Universal Music emphasized the need for individuals to choose “which side of history” they want to be on. They highlighted the importance of supporting artists and fans rather than enabling “deep fakes, fraud, and denying artists their due compensation.” The Grammys, the prestigious music awards show, has also suggested that the industry will need to adapt to the use of AI, with any work generated using AI being eligible for entry.
The concerns surrounding AI extend beyond the music industry. In creative industries such as film and television, there is a fear that AI could replace actors and writers, leading to job insecurity and strike actions. These concerns highlight the need for appropriate regulations and safeguards as AI continues to advance and become more prevalent in various sectors.
Overall, the discussions between Google and major music labels regarding the licensing of artists’ voices for AI-generated songs reflect the ongoing debate surrounding the use of AI in creative industries. While the development of such a tool could provide new opportunities for fans and creators, it also raises important questions about copyright, artistic integrity, and the potential impact on the industry as a whole.