Music Business

YouTube launches AI Music Incubator with UMG, Announces AI Principles

YouTube has published its first set of AI music principles and launched a YouTube Music AI Incubator with artists, songwriters, and producers from Universal Music Group.

Incubator launch artists include Anitta, Björn Ulvaeus, d4vd, Don Was, Juanes, Louis Bell, Max Richter, Rodney Jerkins, Rosanne Cash, Ryan Tedder, Yo Gotti, and the Estate of Frank Sinatra.

UMG’s Lucien Grainge

“Our challenge and opportunity as an industry is to establish effective tools, incentives, and rewards – as well as rules of the road – that enable us to limit AI’s potential downside while promoting its promising upside,” wrote Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge in a YouTube blog post. “If we strike the right balance, I believe AI will amplify human imagination and enrich musical creativity in extraordinary new ways.” 

“AI will never replace human creativity because it will always lack the essential spark that drives the most talented artists to do their best work, which is intention,” Grainge continued. “From Mozart to The Beatles to Taylor Swift, genius is never random.” 

How will AI Music be Monetezied?

But exactly how UMG can monetize content created using AI is; however, an open question made more difficult by last week’s ruling that AI-generated art can’t be copyrighted.

Exactly hat degree of “help” from AI in creation might allow for copyright is unclear.

“We are “approaching new frontiers in copyright,” acknowledged Judge Howell in her ruling, which will lead to “challenging questions regarding how much human input is necessary” to copyright AI-created art or music.

YouTube’s New AI Music Principles

YouTube CEO, Neal Mohanshared that in 2023 alone, there have been more than 1.7 billion views of videos related to generative AI tools on YouTube and shared the platform’s three fundamental AI music principles:

  • Principle #1: AI is here, and we will embrace it responsibly together with our music partners. “As generative AI unlocks ambitious new forms of creativity, YouTube and our partners across the music industry agree to build on our long collaborative history and responsibly embrace this rapidly advancing field.  Our goal is to partner with the music industry to empower creativity in a way that enhances our joint pursuit of responsible innovation.”
  • Principle #2: AI is ushering in a new age of creative expression, but it must include appropriate protections and unlock opportunities for music partners who decide to participate. We’re continuing our strong track record of protecting the creative work of artists on YouTube. We’ve made massive investments over the years in the systems that help balance the interests of copyright holders with those of the creative community on YouTube. 
  • Principle #3: We’ve built an industry-leading trust and safety organization and content policies. “We will scale those to meet the challenges of AI. We spent years investing in the policies and trust and safety teams that help protect the YouTube community, and we’re also applying these safeguards to AI-generated content. Generative AI systems may amplify current challenges like trademark and copyright abuse, misinformation, spam, and more. But AI can also be used to identify this sort of content, and we’ll continue to invest in the AI-powered technology that helps us protect our community of viewers, creators, artists and songwriters–from Content ID, to policies and detection and enforcement systems that keep our platform safe behind the scenes. And we commit to scaling this work even further.”

MORE: Judge in AI lawsuit rules that humans are essential to copyright

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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