The Grammy winners just took the toughest AI stance in all of entertainment – IndieWire

On Friday, the Recording Academy did for artificial intelligence what film and TV have yet to do: draw a line. Quite simply, AI can’t win Grammys. Only humans can be nominated, nominated or awarded music’s highest honor.

IndieWire called a real, live human being, Recording Academy president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr., to walk through his point. Perhaps the guild of striking writers and the guild of probably striking film actors can use this as an influence. At the very least, it should provide more leverage than the pending directors’ union agreement.

The point: If a song or album does not have “human authorship,” it is not eligible for Grammy submission Any category. One person must write the music and/or lyrics and one person must perform the music.

However, this does not mean that AI is prohibited. If a songwriter uses AI to create an AI-generated vocal track, the human writer can still receive a Grammy composition for the underlying music. When an artist sings on a track entirely generated by artificial intelligence, the singer is nominated for a Grammy. Artificial intelligence still has a place at the Grammys, but only as a tool for the artists behind them.

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, Jude Law, Haley Joel Osment, 2001

The Grammy winners just took the toughest AI stance in entertainment

“The question arises as to how artificial intelligence will affect all of us. It’s an undeniable fact that AI will play a role in music, performance, art and entertainment,” Mason told IndieWire. “We absolutely do not ban AI recordings. What we’re saying is that we know AI will play a role in the music-making process. We don’t give the computer an AI or a Grammy. I don’t even know what it would look like. We say that only human creativity or human performance is eligible for a Grammy nomination or win.”

So “Heart on my finger” – a a collaboration between AI versions of Drake and The Weeknd, which blew up on TikTok before it was quickly taken down for copyright reasons — will you win a Grammy? The complicated answer: AI Drake or the Weeknd aren’t, but the anonymous @ghostwriter977 (who is actually a person) is.

“Let’s make this crystal clear so people don’t misunderstand,” Mason said. “First of all, the song is suitable; we don’t award Grammys to artificial intelligence versions of Drake or the Weeknd, or any artist who isn’t a real human version of their voice or vocal performance. The person who wrote the song and who created the track and music is entitled. We look at the publication and say that it was created by a person, it is eligible.”

For “Heart on My Sleeve,” Mason says he spoke with “Ghostwriter,” the person behind the hit (no, he didn’t say who it was), and he informed some of the Academy’s thoughts on these bigger things. problems.

Harvey Mason Jr. at the Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter's ceremony before the 65th Annual Grammy Awards held at Spring Place on January 28, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)
The President and CEO of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr.Variety courtesy of Getty Images

“We spent time talking about him, how he uses it, what the process was, what his thoughts and concerns were,” Mason said. “He’s very, very knowledgeable and gave us great thoughts and insights into what the future of music could be using this technology.”

AI is nothing new in the music industry. Bedroom artists and garage bands have long used apps and tools to create entire backing tracks or manipulate their sound. But Mason said Ghostwriter was “a turning point. The record he made made us all sit up, take notice and pay attention. Something is happening here with this technology. The fact that someone uses artificial intelligence to make a hit record, which is actually a hot record that sounds like something we all want, has created excitement and concern in the industry, across the creative community, and in the Academy as well.”

The Grammy’s AI rules allow songwriters and producers to use the technology in the same way they would with synthesizers or sampling. He referred to Mason Grimes who said sharing royalties with anyone who wanted to use an AI-synthesized version of his voice to create a song.

His position divides the creators. Some believe that as long as it’s clear that a song isn’t an original Grimes track and is identified as AI Grimes, it’s a great opportunity to create a few hits, raise your profile, and even do some market research on what fans want. following. (Of course, all this with appropriate remuneration and attribution.) Others see this as a threat to their brand, likeness, and artistry.

“The fact that artists still feel the opportunity to use technology to improve what we do is promising,” Mason said. “You never want to see it take away our creativity or take the place of our creativity, but after the conversations, more and more people are excited that it can enhance or amplify our creativity. People are upset, I’m concerned, we’re all concerned, and as far as artists are concerned, they need a fair and equitable way to retain ownership of their voice and likeness, to make sure that others aren’t running around with their personal talent, voice and sound.”

AI Grimes still won’t win a Grammy, but Mason made it clear that the current rules of artificial intelligence are the standards for this year. So not today, but maybe someday.

Grimes, New York, United States, 2013 (Photo: Fairchild Archive/Penske Media, Getty Images)
Grimes in 2013Fairchild Archive via Getty Images

“As our industry evolves, technology evolves, our community, creators and members change the way we make music, and if something else happens that we hadn’t thought of, we’ll revisit it,” he said. “Not this year, and I say that on purpose.” Not this year.”

Writers, directors, and actors are freaking out about artificial intelligence, and so is the record industry. Mason said he’s heard everything from “absolute terror” to “tremendous excitement” from creators and techies alike. Some see AI as having Napster-like potential to completely disrupt the industry. Many people fear that you may lose work to people who have spent their lives behind a soundboard. He hopes that the Recording Academy will be at the forefront of creating legislation regulating the use of artificial intelligence.

But he says it’s up to tastemakers and experts to decide whether AI works or not.

“AI doesn’t spit out records by itself,” he said. “Especially the musicians.” We are flexible and always able to figure out a way. All our lives we’ve been told your music isn’t good, your voice isn’t good, and we’ve always found a way to push back. So I see this as a similar challenge here. AI will play a role in our creative process, as well as our music and entertainment process. But we are flexible and we will find a way to create great things.”

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