Billie Eilish, Robert Smith and more sign letter against AI in music – NME

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Billie Eilish, Robert Smith, Stevie Wonder and Nicki Minaj are just a handful of artists who have signed an open letter warning against the “predatory” use of artificial intelligence (AI) in music.

Yesterday (April 2), non-profit organization Artist Rights Alliance issued an open letter titled ‘Stop devaluing music’ about the rise of AI in music, signed by over 200 prominent names in the music industry.  Read the full letter here.

Through the letter, the artist-run nonprofit organization asks that developers, technology companies, and platforms and digital music services “pledge that they will not develop or deploy AI music-generation technology, content, or tools that undermine or replace the human artistry of songwriters and artists or deny us fair compensation for our work.”

The letter states: “Make no mistake: we believe that, when used responsibly, AI has enormous potential to advance human creativity and in a manner that enables the development and growth of new and exciting experiences for music fans everywhere.”

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Billie Eilish. Credit: Nykieria Chaney/Getty Images

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

The open letter continues: “Some of the biggest and most powerful companies are, without permission, using our work to train AI models. These efforts are directly aimed at replacing the work of human artists with massive quantities of AI-created “sounds” and “images” that substantially dilute the royalty pools that are paid out to artists. For many working musicians, artists and songwriters who are just trying to make ends meet, this would be catastrophic.”

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“Unchecked, AI will set in motion a race to the bottom that will degrade the value of our work and prevent us from being fairly compensated for it. This assault on human creativity must be stopped. We must protect against the predatory use of AI to steal professional artists’ voices and likeness, violate creators’ rights, and destroy the music ecosystem.”

Stevie Wonder. (Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Besides the aforementioned artists, other musicians who have signed the document include Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Kim Petras, R.E.M., Jon Bon Jovi, Mumford & Sons, Imagine Dragons, d4vd, Jon Batiste, Finneas, Fletcher, Pearl Jam, J Balvin, Jonas Brothers, Noah Kahan, Norah Jones, Yard Act, The Last Dinner Party, Zayn Malik, Smokey Robinson, Sheryl Crow, Sigrid, the estates of Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra, BTS‘ label HYBE and many others.

The growing impact of AI continues to be a major talking point in the entertainment industry. Last month, a new act was approved in Tennessee to protect musicians from AI deepfakes. That move came after several US politicians argued for the need for legislation to catch up with advancements in AI technology after graphic AI images of Taylor Swift circulated widely on social media in January.

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Recently, Bad Bunny was angered by an AI-generated collaboration between him and Justin Bieber that went viral. Also, ABBA‘s Bjorn Ulvaeus said that the technology will be “another very serious, existential challenge” that “will radically change the world for creators and the creative industry”.

In other AI news, Sophie Ellis-Bextor had to warn fans in January about a recent AI scam that features her music.

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