AI technology looks like its going to shape the future of the creative industries, whether we like it or not, and music is no exception. Whether that's AI-generated deepfake vocals, AI-powered plugins or songs composed and produced entirely by AI-based tools, we're already seeing the beginnings of a profound transformation.
In an effort to get ahead of these developments, the Recording Academy has established new rules regarding how AI can be used in music nominated for Grammy Awards. The new rules state that "only human creators are eligible to be submitted for consideration for, nominated for, or win a GRAMMY Award", ruling out the possibility of ChatGPT, or any other AI songwriter, taking home a trophy.
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. has elaborated in a recent statement, saying that the Academy will allow "AI music and content" to be submitted for consideration: "if there's an AI voice singing the song or AI instrumentation, we'll consider it," he says. Though musicians and songwriters will be permitted to use AI in their music-making process, their music must be written and performed "mostly by a human" in order to be eligible for nomination.
"In a songwriting-based category, it has to have been written mostly by a human. Same goes for performance categories – only a human performer can be considered for a GRAMMY," Mason Jr. says.
Mason Jr. went on to discuss the importance of developing AI-related rules and guidelines now, before the technology begins to dramatically transform the music industry. "AI is going to absolutely, unequivocally have a hand in shaping the future of our industry," he says. "The idea of being caught off guard by it and not addressing it is unacceptable."
"Not knowing exactly what it's going to mean or do in the next months and years gives me some pause and some concerns. But I absolutely acknowledge that it's going to be a part of the music industry and the artistic community and society at large.
"We have to start planning around that and thinking about what that means for us. How can we adapt to accommodate? How can we set guardrails and standards? There are a lot of things that need to be addressed around AI as it relates to our industry."