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Over 200 Artists Sign Open Letter Warning Against “Predatory” Use of AI in Music



Amid the era of AI, when technology’s rapid evolution often blurs the lines between enhancement and infringement, over 200 artists have banded together in an unprecedented plea for respect and responsibility. Amongst those names are Stevie Wonder, Robert Smith, Billie Eilish, Nicki Minaj, R.E.M., Peter Frampton, Jon Batiste, Katy Perry, Sheryl Crow, Smokey Robinson, and the estates of Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra.

The Artist Rights Alliance has published a scathing open letter, titled “Stop Devaluing Music,” to issue a timely rebuke of AI developers in the music industry. In a clarion call for action, the petition urges tech companies to pledge against releasing generative music tools and technologies that could diminish the human artistry of songwriters and producers. The Artist Rights Alliance is an artist-led non-profit organization that advocates for musicians in a precarious digital economy.

“Make no mistake, we believe that, when used responsibly, AI has enormous potential to advance human creativity” – the letter asserts

This acknowledgment of artificial intelligence’s potential underscores the artists’ stance not as anti-innovation, but pro-accountability. Their grievance lies not with the technology itself but with the manner in which it’s currently being deployed by big tech platforms and developers.

The heart of the issue, per the petition, is the irresponsible use of AI that compromises artists’ ability to protect their privacy and intellectual property. It’s a predicament that stems from some of the world’s largest companies taking liberties with AI model “training” based on existing music—without regard for the original creators. This practice not only undermines the intrinsic value of music, but also poses a threat to the livelihood of those who create it.

“Unfortunately, some platforms and developers are employing AI to sabotage creativity and undermine artists, songwriters, musicians and rightsholders,” the letter continues. “When used irresponsibly, AI poses enormous threats to our ability to protect our privacy, our identities, our music and our livelihoods.”

Among the high-profile producers throwing their weight behind the initiative are industry luminaries like Billie Eilish, Metro Boomin, FINNEAS, Hit-Boy and Chase & Status. Their participation, along with superstars the likes of Sam Smith, Kim Petras, J Balvin, Pearl Jam and more, amplifies the petition’s message and highlights the widespread concern among artists of all walks about the future of music creation in the face of advancing AI.

However, not all musicians oppose the use of AI across the music industry.

Canadian electro artist Grimes believes streaming services such as Spotify should have a selection dedicated to AI songs, and has even encouraged fans to use her voice “without penalty” (adding that she would split royalties on successful AI-generated tracks using her voice).

DJ David Guetta is another big name backing the use of AI tools in music, while the legendary Nile Rodgers told Euronews Culture that while using AI-generated vocals to copy another person’s sound is “horrible”, using AI to “artistically express yourself and make better music is fantastic.”

Read the full open letter here.