It’s crazy how fast AI is being infused into every aspect of the human society. From writing code for us to assisting in the smallest of tasks like writing an email, AI is the technology of the future that is here to stay. The same holds true for the creative industry, especially the music industry. With AI music generators gaining rapid popularity, it has opened a new creative opportunity for some and a potential creative threat for many. And the music industry might be feeling a little too threatened right now, as for the first time ever, a piece of AI-generated music might be considered for the prestigious Grammy award.
And the Grammy Goes to….an AI Song?
Crafted by the anonymous songwriter Ghostwriter, “Heart on my Sleeve” is the closest to a Drake x The Weeknd collaboration that you can get, which has never happened! This song, crafted to emulate the cloned vocals of both artists, is entirely AI-generated. And yet when you listen to it, if not explicitly mentioned, you won’t believe it.
Maybe this is why Ghostwriter believes that the song deserves a Grammy nomination, a semblance of recognition that can give attention to the artist’s songwriting capabilities. And strangely enough, the awarding committee is not dismissive of the prospect.
According to Variety, the artist is chasing the best rap song and/or the best song of the year award(s) at the 66th Grammy Awards due for 2024. The artist and his creative team met with the Recording Academy to discuss the potential of AI in music. And as per Harvey Mason Jr., producer and the Chief Executive of the Recording Academy, the fact that the song was written by a human makes it eligible for the award, which are usually offered to the “writers” and not the performer(s)” in a song.
In an interview with The New York Times, he said, “I knew right away as soon as I heard that record that it was going to be something that we had to grapple with from an Academy standpoint, but also from a music community and industry standpoint. When you start seeing A.I. involved in something so creative and so cool, relevant, and of the moment, it immediately starts you thinking, ‘OK, where is this going? How is this going to affect creativity? What’s the business implication for monetization?”
The song gained traction earlier this year when it went viral on TikTok. However, it was promptly taken down by Universal Music Group over claims of copyright infringement. And now, the song is poised to possibly bring an irreversible shift in the music industry. But prominent questions like – are AI-generated songs undermining the capabilities of human artists? Moreover, is this a creative hindrance or potentially an explosion of it? Only time can tell.
But one thing is certain. We are fast approaching the time when a proper framework will be a necessity for AI usage. And no matter how contentious AI-generated music and for that matter of fact, any sort of AI-generated work is, it is happening whether we like it or not.