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AI in music: It’s (not) a sin?

Pet Shop Boys frontman, Neil Tennant, today proposed that artificial intelligence (AI) should be embraced by musicians as a useful part of their song writing toolkit in the future. Amid growing fears within the music industry that AI could threaten to usurp human songwriters, Tennant suggested that the technology could be used to curb writer’s block and aid songwriters in finishing projects that otherwise might have fallen by the wayside. Speaking to Radio Times, Tennant recounted “There’s a song that we wrote a chorus for in 2003 and we never finished because I couldn’t think of anything for the verses”, he continued, “But now with AI you could give it the bits you’ve written, press the button and have it fill in the blanks. You might then rewrite it, but it could nonetheless be a tool.” His comments follow recent controversy surrounding the AI generated song ‘Heart On My Sleeve’, which featured vocals evidently created to sound akin to Drake and The Weeknd. Unsurprisingly, after its release in April, the song was unequivocally condemned by Universal Music Group, who labelled the work “infringing content created with generative AI”, and ordered its removal from streaming services. Prior to that, in October, the Recording Industry Association of America cautioned that generative AI enterprises were infringing copyrights en masse by using music to train their machines. Tennant would currently appear to be a lone voice in support of the use of AI in music, with the industry as a whole continuing to rail against the perceived threat of AI. If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com. Posted by: Megan Walker in: Copyright

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