robot piano

Brian ‘BT’ Transeau is as far from a luddite as you can get in the music world, so when he offers criticism or concerns about a new technology’s impact, it’s worth listening to.

In an interview with Wired, he talked about the potential for training AIs on catalogues of human music to enable them to create new works. “I’m both excited and have incredible trepidation about this space that we’re expanding into. Maybe the question I want to be asking is less ‘We can, but should we?’ and more ‘How do we do this responsibly, because it’s happening?’” he said.

“Right now, there are companies that are using something like Spotify or YouTube to train their models with artists who are alive, whose works are copyrighted and protected. But companies are allowed to take someone’s work and train models with it right now. Should we be doing that? Or should we be speaking to the artists themselves first? I believe that there needs to be protective mechanisms put in place for visual artists, for programmers, for musicians.”

The full interview is worth reading, and useful context may come from our own chat in 2019 with Reed Smith partner Sophie Goossens, in which she explained some of the legal issues – including differences between territories – around training creative AIs with copyrighted music.

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