Spotify Will Not Ban AI-Made Music, CEO Says

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Spotify boss, Daniel Ek says he has no plans to completely ban content created by artificial intelligence from the music streaming platform. Earlier this year the platform pulled a track featuring AI-cloned voices of the performers Drake and The Weeknd. Daniel Ek argued that there were valid uses of the tech in making music but AI should not be used to impersonate human artists without their consent. He said using AI in music was likely to be debated for “many, many years.”   Mr. Ek, who rarely speaks to the media, said that he saw three “buckets” of AI use:

  • Tools such as auto-tune which improve music, which he believed were acceptable
  • Tools which mimic artists, which were not
  • And a more contentious middle ground where music created by AI was clearly influenced by existing artists but did not directly impersonate them.

“It is going to be tricky,” he said when asked about the challenge the industry was facing. While AI is not banned in all forms on the platform, the company does not allow its content to be used to train machine learning or AI model; the likes of which can then produce music.

Artists are increasingly speaking out against the use of AI in the creative industries. Last month the Irish musician Hozier said he would consider striking over the threat of AI to his profession. In an interview, he said he was not sure the tech “meets the definition of art.” Neither Drake nor The Weeknd was aware of cloned versions of their voices being used on the song, Heart on My Sleeve. The track was removed from Spotify and other streaming platforms in April.

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