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Generative AI in the Music Industry: A Turning Point?

Generative AI's role in the music industry has been debated extensively. Its potential to enhance creativity has been celebrated by many, while some voice concerns over its ethical and legal implications. A pressing question arises: Are we nearing a time when AI and human creativity can peacefully co-exist?

Recent developments provide some clues.

Earlier this month, the Independent Music Publishers International Forum (IMPF) issued a new set of ethical guidelines for AI developers. The principles which were endorsed by 200 independent music publishing companies worldwide, are aimed at ensuring “a more transparent collaboration” between indie publishers and AI tech firms.

The guidelines comprise of four core principles for the ethical use of music in AI training processes: compliance with intellectual property and copyright laws for all parties involved in AI application; maintaining records of musical and literary works used in machine learning; labelling of AI-generated music; and a clear distinction of human creation and technical generation.

In March of this year, there was another cross-industry movement of over 150 organisations which joined together to launch the Human Artistry Campaign to ensure that AI is developed and used in ways that support human culture and artistry. The explicit goal of the campaign was to ensure that AI will not replace or “erode” human culture and artistry.

These initiatives suggest a changing landscape. The music industry seems to be warming up to the idea of AI, as long as it respects copyrights and the value of human creativity.

Not everyone shares this enthusiasm, though. For instance, guitarist Myles Kennedy expressed his disdain stating, "I think it sucks." However, the general consensus appears to favour a collaborative approach with GenAI, as long as established guidelines are followed.

With these developments, the industry is poised for exciting new innovations in the realm of AI.

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