The boss of the company behind the Grammys has clarified the awards show’s stance on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the music industry.
Harvey Mason Junior, CEO and president of the Recording Academy, said: “Artificial intelligence or music that includes elements created by artificial intelligence is definitely eligible to enter and be considered for a Grammy nomination. That’s it.”
It follows new guidelines, which state that AI-only works are banned and that “only human creators are eligible” for the Grammys, the world’s most recognized music award.
The new rules also state: “Works that do not include a human author do not qualify for any category.”
The addition to the rulebook — which the Recording Academy says is meant to better reflect the evolving music industry — has generated plenty of headlines.
Music creators must also contribute at least 20% of the album to be nominated. Previously, any producer, songwriter, engineer, or artist featured on an album could be nominated for Album of the Year, even if that person had only minimal input.
Mr Mason Jr. said the Grammys, like the entire music and performance industry, were still embracing new technologies.
He further clarified the Recording Academy’s position, saying, “We are not awarding a Grammy or a Grammy nomination to the artificial intelligence section. [of a song]”.
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An example in practice is a track with lead vocals performed by an artificial intelligence or voice modeling program—while it qualifies for the songwriting category, it does not qualify for the performance category.
If a song was sung by a human in a studio but the lyrics or track were written by an artificial intelligence, the song would not qualify for the composition or songwriting category.
Mr Mason Jr. continued: “As long as humans contribute more than the bare minimum (which means to us in a meaningful way), they will always be considered for a nomination or win.
“We don’t want to see technology replace human creativity. We want to make sure that technology enhances, beautifies or enhances human creativity. That’s why we’re taking this particular stance in this awards cycle.”
Recent AI techniques used by prominent artists include David Guetta’s Emin-AI-em and Grimes’ generative audio tool, which allows anyone to clone her voice.
Mr Mason Jr. said the Recording Academy had done extensive research, including hosting a technology summit, and that the AI conversation “had really reached a crunch over the past six months”.
After June, there was an outcry Paul McCartney reveals ‘last Beatles record’ used artificial intelligence Extract John Lennon’s voice from old demo tapes.
Mr Mason Jr. said that while he did not know the full details of the song’s production, judging from “early descriptions” of the song’s composition, it “definitely fit the [for a Grammy]”.
He also said that while he couldn’t predict the future, next year we might see Grammy nominations for songs written at least in part by artificial intelligence.
“People are using the technology,” he said. “I imagine it’s going to be involved in a lot of records, a lot of songs this year, so we’ll see if some of them get nominated, but I’m sure there will be some submitted.”
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A lot has changed since the first Grammy Awards in 1959, with a recent influx of AI-generated songs that appear to include the voices of some of the music’s greatest stars.
The voices of Drake, The Weeknd, Michael Jackson, Kanye West and Ariana Grande were all hijacked Through last year’s new technology.
Meanwhile, the strike by actors and writers continues Both ongoing US events include talks on the use of generative artificial intelligence, calling for more safeguards to ensure it is not used to replace their role.
The 2024 Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 4.