Published in AI

Universal Music Group and Google want to dig up dead pop stars with AI

by on11 August 2023

Keep cutting tracks long after the singer is dead

Universal Music Group and Google are considering developing a tool that people can use to create AI-generated music using popular artists' voices and melodies.

To be fair, the music business has been doing this for ages with artists like John Lennon and Bob Marley releasing singles long after they were pushing up the daisies, but AI gives the record companies the ability to make this really absurd. 

Under the licensing deal, the relevant copyright owners would be paid for using their likeness and can opt-in to give UMG and Google permission to license AI-generated music using their voice, per the FT. Google and UMG are in the early stages of negotiations over creating the deep fake tool, and there aren't currently any plans to launch it immediately.

Of course, if they are dead, an unscrupulous record company could keep them making records because they could not object.

This means that generations could be forced to listen to AI versions of Taylor Swift moaning about some guy who dumped her for decades before someone wipes the database in a desperate bid to save humanity.

Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl has voiced his opposition to deepfake technology, saying artists should always have a choice if they'll allow their likeness to be used.

"There's nothing more precious to an artist than their voice, and protecting their voice is protecting their livelihood and persona," he said.


Last modified on 12 August 2023
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