What’s happening: Programmers and other creators have begun using artificial intelligence to make songs that sound identical to famous artists. Earlier this month, A.I.-generated songs to sound like Drake and The Weeknd racked up millions of listens and went viral. This has sparked a debate as to whether this is great news for up-and-coming music producers and fans in general or if it infringes on copyright laws.
The legal response: Before those songs went viral, Universal Music Group, Drake’s label, was already asking streaming platforms to take down A.I.-generated songs. One song in particular that featured a supposed collaboration between Drake and The Weeknd was forced offline, with Universal Music Group stating that it was “infringing content.” Drake himself was upset with the A.I. rendition, writing on Instagram, “This is the final straw AI.”
Why it matters: A.I.’s increasing ability to mimic voices and images is causing a lot of spirited conversation and controversy. Less than a month ago, an A.I.-generated photo of Pope Francis wearing a white puffer coat fooled thousands of people. The technology is now being used in political ads with a recent ad attacking President Joe Biden. Many are voicing concerns over the potential implications it could have on the 2024 election and society at large.