The development of artificial intelligence does not skip the world of music either: in recent times, quite a few "new" songs by famous artists have been distributed on the Internet - but in practice these are often fake works in which the singers' voices are copied and engineered by innovative technologies - without their approval.
A prominent example of this phenomenon is the song "Heart On My Sleeve" - a duet allegedly performed by The Weeknd and Drake that has received millions of plays, but the two have nothing to do with the misleading recording. Moreover, Universal Records, to which the artists are signed, demanded that the various music streaming services remove the track from their servers, claiming that it was a copyright infringement.
The Weeknd, Photo by GettyImages
While this is still a grey area – as the issue has not yet been sufficiently studied in the courts and no clear laws have yet been enacted about it – many artists, including Sting, claim to be waging a stubborn "battle" to preserve their voices and intellectual property rights (on the other hand, Canadian musician Grimes, for example, praises anyone who wants to use her voice).
Either way, there is no doubt that this is a fascinating subject with many technological, artistic, legal and moral developments ahead. Indeed, just these days, the French streaming service Deezer announced another intriguing development in the field: technology that makes it possible to identify fake songs.
Sting, Photo: EPA
Deezer said the purpose of the technology is to "remove fake and illegal content" from streaming services to protect artists. The company's chief executive, Geronimo Folgira, told the BBC that due to the sharp rise in content based on voices replicated by artificial intelligence, "we are facing a defining moment in the world of music".
Deezer's innovative technology, a service especially popular in France and South America, can label suspected fake music and songs that use synthetic voices from existing artists. The tags will be reported to record companies and rights holders of the works, and they will be asked to decide what to do with the controversial content: remove it from the service, or keep it.
Deezer logo, photo: uncredited
Ironically, Deezer's identification technology is also based on artificial intelligence – which, as mentioned, is also responsible for the fake songs. However, Polygra makes it clear that he has nothing against computer-produced music, as long as it is done ethically. "Personally, I would love for AI to bring Whitney Houston back to life to hear amazing new songs in her voice," the CEO clarified. "But we as an industry also have to make sure that this intelligence is used in the right way and in accordance with the law, and make sure that artists are properly rewarded."
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