Drake, The Weeknd And How AI Is Turning The Music Industry Upside Down

Despite the best efforts of major labels such as Universal Music Group, artificial intelligence (AI) continues to creep into the music industry. But gray areas regarding what is and isn’t acceptable are being discovered. 

Most recently, the world welcomed a new song — “Heart on My Sleeve” — by Drake and The Weeknd, two of the most popular musicians in the world. There’s only one problem: The duo didn’t collaborate on the track. Instead, the song featured AI versions of their voices. The song was successful to the tune of securing millions of plays before being removed from major platforms such as Spotify Technology, TikTok (15 million streams) and YouTube. 

This isn’t anything new. AI has slowly been creeping into nearly every modern career. Writers are the most obvious, but even marketing is done using AI now. RAD AI, for example, built the worlds first AI marketing platform built to understand emotion, and some of the biggest companies on the planet are using it. 

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What’s Next For Generative AI In The Music Industry?

If nothing else, “Heart on My Sleeve” serves as an early preview of what could come. Without the proper regulations in place, generative AI will continue to impact the music industry for artists, labels, fans and many others. 

At this point, it’s unclear which elements of the song were created by AI, with its creator Ghostwriter977 declining to share additional information. 

Courts, lawmakers and governments are still in the early stages of determining the ownership and legality of AI-produced content and copyrights in music. In the meantime, protected intellectual property can only be created by humans in most countries, but this is likely to be challenged on many fronts. And that’s especially true when you consider that there may come a day when musicians collaborate with AI to enhance their music. 

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While Drake and The Weeknd are the latest artists to become tangled in the AI web, others — including Ariana Grande, Eminem, and Rihanna — have also been cloned to some degree using generative AI technology. 

Universal Music Group has spoken out against the use of generative AI, but that doesn’t mean the entire music industry is on its side. Many artists, including David Guetta and Peter Gabriel, are excited about how AI can transform the music industry for the better. Depending on legal interpretations and how AI technology grows, these artists may end up being right. 

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