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Are we witnessing a change in genAI’s reputational lifecycle? Lessons from a music tech PR agency

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

As a music tech PR agency, we’ve been closely following generative AI’s reputational lifecycle and it has mostly received negative press coverage this year. But are we finally going to see AI enter its rehabilitation stage?

Earlier in the year, the story that was dominating news cycles was the presence of deepfakes of The Weeknd on streaming services. Every news story we read about generative AI referenced Lucian Grainge, CEO of Universal Music Group, and his harsh stance on the technology.

We also read doomsday headlines predicting that generative AI would replace our favourite pop artists, which would spell the end of the music industry.

However, there has been a slight shift in the tone of recent news coverage as the hysteria over AI has died down. In May, UMG announced that it had entered a partnership with AI sound wellness start-up Endel to create “AI-powered, artist-driven functional music”.

More recently, the deepfakes story came full circle as Google and UMG announced that they were in talks to develop an AI-powered tool for users to create deepfake music. The deal would reportedly pay copyright owners for the use of their likeness, and they would have the option to grant Google and UMG permission to license their work for the purpose of AI-driven replication.

This begs the question; will we finally see generative AI enter its rehabilitation stage, and see more positive stories about its application in the music industry?

The media frenzy has calmed down but we’re not there yet.

In order to finally achieve a balanced view of AI in the media, we need more stories about the opportunities that it can provide in the music industry. The media needs to consult both critics and defenders of AI, to truly paint a balanced view.

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