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Billie Eilish, Jon Bon Jovi and Katy among stars to join together to take a stand against AI in music

More than 200 music stars have come together to call for the “predatory” use of generative AI in the music industry to be stopped.

An open letter – which was signed by the likes of Billie Eilish, Sam Smith, Jon Bon Jovi, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry – was sent to machine-learning software companies, which called for tighter regulations on the technology in the industry to “protect against the predatory use of AI to steal professional artists’ voices and likenesses, violate creators’ rights, and destroy the music ecosystem”.

The letter, which was produced by the not-for-profit organisation Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), read: “Make no mistake: we believe that, when used responsibly, AI has enormous potential to advance human creativity and in a manner that enables the development and growth of new and exciting experiences for music fans everywhere.

“Unfortunately, some platforms and developers are employing AI to sabotage creativity and undermine artists, songwriters, musicians and rightsholders. When used irresponsibly, A.I. poses enormous threats to our ability to protect our privacy, our identities, our music and our livelihoods.

“Some of the biggest and most powerful companies are, without permission, using our work to train AI models. These efforts are directly aimed at replacing the work of human artists with massive quantities of A.I.-created ‘sounds’ and ‘images’ that substantially dilute the royalty pools that are paid out to artists. For many working musicians, artists and songwriters who are just trying to make ends meet, this would be catastrophic.”

The organisation then warned that unregulated machine-learning software would “devalue” the work of musicians.

The letter continued: “Unchecked, AI will set in motion a race to the bottom that will degrade the value of our work and prevent us from being fairly compensated for it.

“This assault on human creativity must be stopped. We must protect against the predatory use of AI to steal professional artists’ voices and likeness, violate creators’ rights, and destroy the music ecosystem.”

Jen Jacobsen – who is the Executive Director at ARA – said AI would only add to the “burden” for musicians who were already “struggling” with the streaming world, and warned of the consequences in store for both artists and fans if machine-learning algorithms go unchecked.

In a statement, she explained: “Working musicians are already struggling to make ends meet in the streaming world and now they have the added burden of trying to compete with a deluge of A.I.-generated noise. The unethical use of generative A.I. to replace human artists will devalue the entire music ecosystem, for artists and fans alike.”

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