Tech is usually automatically presented as the solution to a problem, but this one – “The time is now for artists to launch their own APIs” – makes a lot of sense for artists, assuming they wish to let other people create music that sounds like they are performing on it. The idea is that they train an AI on their music or voice and then charge people for API access to it – which would then create a high-quality, artist approved AI, plus proof of provenance, and presumably involving some sort of royalty agreement too.
At the moment however, AI music is a bit of a Wild West, and is generating some interesting experiments. For instance: millions of people are desperate for British rock group Oasis to reform, but first there’s the small problem of getting the endlessly-feuding Gallagher brothers to agree to being in the same room. Bored of waiting, members of the short-lived band Breezer (who cheerfully admit that they “sounded exactly like Oasis”) cloned Liam Gallgher’s voice and replaced the vocals on Breezer’s old tracks. Et voila: a “new” album from “AI-sis“. Liam Gallagher’s considered response? “Mad as f*ck, I sound mega”.
Finally, here’s an example of how when using AI in a “clever” way can walk you straight into an ethical and legal quagmire: German magazine Die Aktuelle ran a purported interview with Formula One great Michael Schumacher, who has not spoken to the press since he suffered a brain injury in 2013. Except: the interview was generated by AI, and the magazine didn’t make that clear until the end of the article, and now the Schumacher family are planning legal action.
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