A flurry of headlines over the past week suggested that AI music had been barred from being eligible for the Grammy awards. Now Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr has clarified how the new rules will be applied.

“Here’s the super easy, headline statement: AI, or music that contains AI-created elements is absolutely eligible for entry and for consideration for Grammy nomination. Period,” Mason told the Associated Press.

“What’s not going to happen is we are not going to give a Grammy or Grammy nomination to the AI portion.”

Whisper it quietly, but the new rules may actually be a thoughtful, un-kneejerk response to the emergence of musical AIs.

As things stand, if a human is the performer but an AI is responsible for the music and lyrics, the track would be eligible for performance awards but not songwriting ones.

And, vice versa, a human-written track that uses AI vocals would be eligible for songwriting gongs but not performance ones.

The complication, of course, is that these boundaries are blurring: tracks with a mixture of human and AI vocals for example, or compositions that are a collaboration between a human and an AI.

Still, the rule of thumb for the Grammys appears to be that where there is human creativity involved in a composition or performance, it’s eligible for the awards.

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