The most streamed artist in the world has added his voice to a growing chorus of warnings from the music industry over the perils of artificial intelligence.
Puerto Rican rap and reggaetón megastar Bad Bunny has released “a furious rant”, said BBC Newsbeat, about a viral TikTok that uses AI to “replicate his voice”. In a post this week on WhatsApp the star – real name Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio – said that anyone who liked the song did not “deserve to be my friends”.
“It is somewhat unclear as to which AI-generated song Bad Bunny is upset about,” said Billboard, “as there are several circulating the web”. The trend of unauthorised AI-generated impersonations of artists has grown recently, “with fans seeking out these imitations” and record labels sending “takedown notices to streaming services for AI soundalikes”.
Record labels are “very unhappy that their copyrighted work is being used to train generative AI tools”, said The Verge‘s “Decoder” podcast. And a lot of artists “are even more unhappy that their voices are being used by AI systems”.
There’s “another kind of songwriter in town”, wrote Abba’s Björn Ulvæus in the Financial Times – “deep learning”. Already, AI models can “generate music prompted by paragraphs of text”, he said. YouTube’s Music AI Incubator “made me realise how urgent finding answers to the emerging rights issues now is”.
Key issues include how original creators can be “properly remunerated for use of their works to train AI”. And “who, if anyone, owns the AI output”?
Almost always, he said, “training an AI model on unlicensed material is copyright infringement”. But as output may not technically contain originally protected material, “we’re in uncharted territory”.
One thing is clear, Ulvæus said. The changes coming to music, and “society as a whole”, are “monumental”.