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The TikTok-viral chart hit Heart on my sleeve AI is responsible for will be considered for a Grammy. The controversial news has shaken the music industry, one of multiple creative industries currently waging war on artificial intelligence. What do the artists themselves have to say, and how will this precedent affect the creative arts?
TikTok’s AI chart-topper – Heart on my sleeve AI
Heart on my sleeve, a song with zero human vocals, has been submitted for the ‘best rap song’ and ‘song of the year’ categories at the Grammies. The AI TikTok song was swiftly taken down from streaming sites Spotify and Deezer after release, by rights holder UMG.
The AI-generated song comes at an awkward, but inevitable, time. The creative industries already bare an unfavorable impression of AI technology, with the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike prompting AI roles to skyrocket in salary, with Netflix concurrently offering $900K for those willing to step into the firing line.
Canadians rapper Drake has been the subject of more than one high-profile instance viral voice-cloning. The issue, however, has spread to any and all pop music artists that will garner attention for the ghostwriter – including The Weeknd, Rihanna, Kanye West, Ice Spice, and Nicki Minaj.
Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, explains that he “knew right away as soon as I heard that record that it was going to be something that we had to grapple with from an Academy standpoint, but also from a music community and industry standpoint,” added the record executive. “When you start seeing A.I. involved in something so creative and so cool, relevant and of-the-moment, it immediately starts you thinking, ‘OK, where is this going? How is this going to affect creativity? What’s the business implication for monetization?”
Which AI made Heart on my sleeve by Drake and The Weeknd?
The AI-generated track was reportedly generated by Eleven Labs voice clone technology. The music production itself was most likely executed with Ableton Live Studio, or FL Studio – the two most popular DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) in electronic and independent music.
AI Grammy nomination – A new direction for the music industry?
The undertone of all this is that copyright protection for music artists is under threat. The grammy consideration proves that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) cannot infallibly protect the artists being cloned.
Do record labels like Universal Music Group (UMG) have an ethical responsibility to protect human authorship? Even then, the human authorship of the lyrics alone were enough to make the song eligible.
UMG shared with industry publication NPR 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 [Demand Side Platforms], 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”.
Singer-songwriter Dan Navarro fronts human creativity advocacy group HAC (Human Artistry Campaign).
“The Human Artistry Campaign’s stated goal is to underscore the unique value of human artistry and human creation, especially as technology and opportunism create a culture for conflict and misuse and even abuse,” Navarro explains. “I’d like to see a set of agreed principles with legal teeth so that artists, the music industry, streaming services, and audiences can understand what is — and is not — allowed.”
Who is Ghostwriter977?
The computer-generated composition was written by TikTok user Ghostwriter 977. The mysterious ‘pop star’ always wears a white sheet in interviews and self-published YouTube videos, both to hide their identity and as a literal branding play on the term ghostwriter itself.