to replace and financially impoverish the artists? – RFI Music

AI in music: towards the replacement and economic impoverishment of artists?

© Flavio Coelho via Gettyimages

Artificial intelligence is making its mark in music, as it is in all areas of creation. Artists are curious about the possibilities his advances offer, but they are not fearless. What will change financially for them? Is their profession impoverished? And what safeguards are there for the rapid development of artificial intelligence?

One of the big fears surrounding artificial intelligence is that humans will be replaced by machines. Reacting to a post on the social network TikTok on deepfake which made him repeat the Saiyan of Heuss the bastard and Gazo, Belgian singer Angèle had to admit she didn't really know what to think about AI. “It's crazy, but at the same time I'm scared for my job”it slipped.

For the musicians we interviewed, the fear is not that of technology. Instead, they are curious to test the capabilities of new tools. But rather that of the disappearance of professions linked to the use of artificial intelligence (AI). “People won't stop being creative. But will they have the means to be creative? That's the problem!”worries Benoît Carré.

A study by Sacem, the organization that collects and pays royalties in France, and Gema, its counterpart in Germany, carried out by the company Goldmedia took stock at the beginning of the year on the impact of genetic artificial intelligence in the field of music.

First it reveals that more than a third of creators surveyed (35%) – and more than half (51%) of those under 35 – have already used artificial intelligence. A phenomenon that mainly affects electronic music, rap and music composed for advertising.

71% of creators surveyed in France and Germany fear that their work will no longer allow them to live. If the study estimates a nearly 27% loss of income for them by 2028, it also predicts that the AI ​​production market will account for $3 billion globally by that date.

Loss of trackability of music

For the virtual duo, Savages, with a Jay Z AI AllttA did not monetize the song online. The team wanted to remain “as sober as possible” and use Jay-Z's name and likeness as little as possible. But if it didn't elicit a response from the main party, one of its producers, Young Guru, reacted strongly on Instagram in a message that has since been removed. “We were surprised because under Young Guru's post, we had reactions from the entire hip hop community that we were listening to when we started the music, meaning all beatmakers American rap from the 1990s like Pete Rock or Hi-Tek, note 20 vol. Reactions went in all directions. But we stayed out of the discussion, because it was the use of artificial intelligence that was questioned and the problems of artistic appropriation it created.”

If he'd been using AI carelessly when creating his song two years ago, 20syl admits he'd definitely be more careful today. “The problem for me wouldn't be so much seeing new songs from my groups come out [Hocus Pocus, C2C, AllttA.- ndlr]. What scares me the most are things that can't be detected. In other words, we take the entire discography of an artist, enter it into a database, artificial intelligence analyzes it from every angle and creates something new, which has all its characteristics, but is not signed.”continues 20 vol.

It is still too late for the Nantes musician, since “Databases already absorbed” from machines. If the time comes to see Daft Punk-style tracks with results that scream truth hasn't arrived yet, 20syl predicts it could happen within a year or two.

A world without a writer, composer or performer

With this in mind, copyright collectors and lawmakers are calling for AI regulation. The president of the National Center for Music (CNM), Jean-Philippe Thielay, warned in May 2023 in a newspaper column The echoes with the risk of seeing new artists get lost in the mass of 100,000 titles a day made available by streaming platforms. Visibility problem as well as loss of income. “The prospect of a musical world without a writer, without a composer and without a performer is not a fantasy, and some are starting to explore its full potential with, for example, multi-hour playlists created entirely by AI”, he warned. In October 2023, Sacem claimed an “op-out”, a right to object, to make data mining conditional on prior authorization from the copyright collector.

Like many artists, Benoît Carré believes that the danger surrounding artificial intelligence is not the use of the technology. According to him, it is indeed economical. “There are many musicians who, in order to maintain their activity as free and creative artists, have a multi-activity. This is the part work food. They are contracted to compose music for documentaries and commercials or to make playlists for hotels. This whole track will be affected”analyzes.

The songwriter says he is particularly concerned that these commissioned projects will disappear and that musicians will be replaced by apps that are much less expensive to use. It should be noted here that with the explosion of streaming music listening across platforms, the record has lost its value. For French musicians, it's the scene that generates income, and side income has become fundamental, when not helping fame.

The AI ​​Act passed by the European Parliament on March 13 is the first global regulation on artificial intelligence. It will be implemented next year in European Union (EU) countries. If it involves many other areas (tracking, facial recognition, information, etc.), it especially obliges creators to be transparent about everything it involves deepfakes. “How will humans position themselves in relation to machines? What occupations will be preserved? I hope these will be tools that assist rather than brutally replace”, 20syl said, rather curious to know how the tide would turn. For the forty-year-old, the concern is not for him, but for his son's generation.

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