The rise of AI-generated songs on TikTok is causing concern as their legality remains uncertain. Despite this, the trend of combining two opposing elements using technology has gained immense popularity.
The prevalence of AI in public discourse has raised serious job security concerns among professional writers and artists.
Many educators are questioning whether the use of AI should be banned in schools altogether while students would prefer AI writing assistants like Jasper or ChatGPT to finish Mrs. Jones’ medieval literature essays without sacrificing more episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix.
The issue is further complicated by questions about the copyright of AI-generated art in graphic novels.
There is a risk that artists may be sued for using text-to-image generation software that is trained off other artists’ work.
Adding to the existing concerns, musicians are now stirring the AI ethics pot.
How Is AI Affecting The Music Industry?
An anonymous TikTok user known as Ghostwriter (@Ghostwriter977) recently released a viral song called “Heart On My Sleeve,” which used the AI-generated likeness of artists Drake and the Weeknd.
While previous AI-generated songs have scraped artists’ voices and lyrics, this one has received an unprecedented level of viral attention.
The song has garnered over 15 million views on TikTok and 600,000 streams on Spotify since its release on April 4.
Although Ghostwriter used AI to generate the voices of Drake and the Weeknd, it remains unclear to what extent their lyrics and melodies were used.
The anonymous artist released another AI-engineered song last week, this time featuring Bad Bunny and Rihanna.
Although this one didn't seem to slap as hard.
Many people criticized the distorted Spanish vocals by the Puerto Rican pop star as "gibberish" while others claimed the lyrics didn't even make sense.
While AI-generated lyrics are created by programs that use keywords or phrases input by the user, the software that mimics voices compares an original voice sample to many in its archives to create a convincing replica.
Many deny the originality of AI-generated music and continue to raise red flags for the potential infringement of artists' creative rights.
Some people see this disruption as a natural evolution that will democratize the industry and allow songwriters and producers to cash bigger checks.
Most of your favorite clothing brands and tech companies enforce horribly unethical labor policies to produce goods.
Does that stop you from purchasing an iPhone or buying Jordans? Probably not.
Some artists will definitely suffer from this revolution, and it will mostly be the little guys because Drake, The Weeknd, Bad Bunny, and Rihanna all have titanic labels to defend their IP.
The occasional AI-engineered banger may slip through the cracks, but even when an artist is wronged, the ethical stakes aren't nearly as high as, well, child workers in sweat shops or cobalt mines.
Besides... as long as the product is good, most consumers don't really care how they get it.
For better or worse, music is no different.