Geoff Taylor

British labels body the BPI’s CEO Geoff Taylor recently stepped down with plans to return to a more commercial role. Now we know what that is: a newly-created position as executive vice president of AI at Sony Music, reporting to its COO Kevin Kelleher.

“Geoff will align and help coordinate the work of every part of the business that touches AI,” wrote Kelleher in a memo to staff.

Taylor will certainly have lots on his plate, with the music industry currently chewing over AI’s challenges and opportunities alike. His interest in AI is longstanding however.

In 2016 Music Ally worked with the BPI on a report called ‘Music’s Smart Future’ including a foreword from Taylor that included some futuregazing questions.

“Can music created by AI inspire human emotions, engage the soul as human music does?” wrote Taylor then. “If AI machines pass the ‘technological singularity’ and become independently conscious, how will their compositions differ because of their different experience of what life is? At that point, will they be accorded rights, including the rights in their own creations? Could AI machines even become music fans and consumers?”

He’ll now be exploring these and other questions for Sony Music.

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