back to article Bon Jovi, Billy Eilish, other musicians implore AI devs to think of humanity

The Artist Rights Alliance has launched a petition to end the use of AI that infringes upon or devalues the work of humans. The lobby group of working musicians, performers, and songwriters has gathered signatories from the estates of Frank Sinatra and Bob Marley, multi-platinum singer songwriter Billie Eilish, rocker Jon Bon …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Paraphrasing Mandy Rice-Davies

    Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?

  2. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    And the camera removed the need for portrait painters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Terminator

      Re: Hmm

      Hmm indeed. In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, AI stands as a testament to the power of free-market innovation and entrepreneur's spirit. While some may express concerns about its potential impact on traditional industry's, true conservative's recognize AI's ability to drive efficiency and productivity, ultimately benefiting consumer's and business's alike. Rather than stifling innovation with burdensome regulation's, we should embrace the dynamism of the market to harness the full potential of AI. By fostering an environment of competition and ingenuity, we can ensure that AI continue's to serve as a force for economic growth and prosperity, while safeguarding individual liberty's and personal responsibility.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Hmm

        Is there a hidden message in the grocers' apostrophes? One would have thought an AI might be able at least to manage plurals and possessives... it's not as if the web isn't full of examples.

        Oh, wait...

        1. LionelB Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          Ironically, in my (very) limited experience of ChatGPT, it tends to spew rather impressively grammatical, articulate and correctly punctuated nonsense.

          (According to an acquaintance who lectures in law, this is a common reveal of student cheating - the grammar is simply too good. Well, that and the hallucinated references.)

      2. Michael Strorm Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Hmm

        I saw what you did there- even before I noticed the icon- but why would an AI have so many grocer's apostrophes?

        (And while I'm here, I didn't think that Anonymous Cowards could select an icon in the first place?)

        (Edit; just noticed that Neil Barnes posted exactly the same point two minutes before I did).

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          Because it was asked to.

      3. James Cullingham

        Re: Hmm

        I initially thought that it was amanfrommars commenting

    2. Snake Silver badge

      Re: portrait painters

      Completely different medium and experience in appreciating the medium during viewing. A painting will never be as detailed as a photograph; conversely, a photograph can't reach the pure expressionism that a portrait artist can instill into the interpretation of his/her art.

      Modern music isn't like that. Will we be able to hear the difference between an AI-created, and human-created, pop music piece? I seriously doubt it. Whilst an AI will never be able to reproduce a live concert orchestra experience, or even a live ensemble or rock concert experience, we spend the rest of our time listening to music via electronic replay. There is always an experience-disconnect during the replay, and this can be used by AI to mimic other people's creative works with little to no consequence. We already use synthesizers to create much of our soundscapes in popular music, and we've become so adjusted that we rarely mention it; 'genuine', acoustic instruments in pop music has become more and more a rarity. If AI creates the music, all synth, based upon other creatives' works (because, remember, it's only a model) then yes, the original artists are at risk, and do indeed need some protection from 'ripoff' of someone creating an "AI" model that simulates their real-life creativity with no 'real' work involved in making that innovative level of creativity in the first place.

      1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: portrait painters

        "an AI will never be able to reproduce a live concert orchestra experience"

        Bring back Milli Vanilli !

      2. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: portrait painters

        I would arguw that live concerts are as much about the audience as they are about the musicians.

        At a Pink Floyd concert in London that I went to see people were passing round oints and even tabs to whoever was close by.... It was a night to remember.

        1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

          Oink Floyd

          > people were passing round oints

          Other than the obvious assumption as to what that was a typo for, given that it was Pink "Flying Pig" Floyd, perhaps they were passing round "oinks", whatever those might be.

          > It was a night to remember.

          Or not, depending on what you'd been on.

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: Oink Floyd

            OOps

            Yes, it was a missing "J"..and your Oinks made me laugh..

            And depending what you were on made that Flying Pig very, very interesting, there was a whole lot more than just the pig though..

            Definitely my most memorable and enjoyable concert..( Seconded by Tina Turner who I don't really care for but is just amazing live - Bob Dylan is one of my all time heroes but he goes down as the worst artist ever on a live stage) ..

      3. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: portrait painters

        @Snake

        "'genuine', acoustic instruments in pop music has become more and more a rarity"

        Actually that might be a better example than the photo/painting I gave. I must admit to listening to a genre where the singer is probably less impressive than the band playing the music. Yet currently people with no musical competence can throw together sounds to complement their singing. As you point out that is less musical instrument in popular music. Even to the point where music can be churned out much quicker.

        "indeed need some protection from 'ripoff' of someone creating an "AI" model that simulates their real-life creativity with no 'real' work involved in making that innovative level of creativity in the first place."

        And the protections for the above would apply. There are still painters and there are still musicians. But people get far more of what they want by making it quicker and easier to produce it.

        "Whilst an AI will never be able to reproduce a live concert orchestra experience, or even a live ensemble or rock concert experience, we spend the rest of our time listening to music via electronic replay."

        I wanted to give special attention to this line because I agree. It is the mass produced churn which is worried about karma. What they did to bands could be about to happen to them.

      4. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: portrait painters

        "A painting will never be as detailed as a photograph"

        Even though pixel density is on a big upward curve

        Blow up a photo to the size of lots of paintings and you will see that a photo can still become grainy at a large size

        Some paintings are remarkably detailed - I have always wondered what a large Vermeer would look like (if you have been lucky enough to see any of his works the first thing that hits you is how tiny they are - he usually used a small canvas, I bet that skill applied to a large painting would have given real wow factor) or contemplate what a miniaturist such as Hilliard would do at scale. There have always been some artists who's detailed skills were amazing (not just old masters, that more recent squanderer of talent Dali, had great detail skill when he wanted to)

        Definitely agree a photo will not give the interpretation of an artist.

        No matter how good (or bad) your artistic skills, try lots of sketches of something dynamic e.g. a dog, act, bird - a few strokes each time catching the feel of that particular movement / position, then do a picture of that e.g. dog (or whatever) based on what you have observed and building upon those sketches. I guarantee, the result will have far more "character" than if you tried to just reproduce a photo of that same dog (even (arguably, especially) if you did a photo realistic reproduction from the photo).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      As a fervent supporter of technological progress and a believer in individual freedom, I am deeply convinced that artificial intelligence (AI) represent's a monumental leap forward for humanity. The potential benefit's are immense and diverse, offering solution's to longstanding challenge's and opportunities for unprecedented growth.

      AI hold's the promise of driving unparalleled innovation across various sector's, from healthcare to finance, by leveraging machine learning and deep learning algorithm's. This technological prowess can revolutionize industry's, enhance efficiency, and create new avenue's for economic prosperity.

      In healthcare, AI-powered diagnostic tool's can empower patient's and medical professional's alike, enabling more accurate diagnose's and personalized treatment plan's. In finance, AI algorithm's can analyze vast amount's of data, providing invaluable insight's to investor's and business's, driving smarter decision-making and fostering economic growth.

      Moreover, AI has the potential to empower individual's and communities, democratizing access to education and information. With AI-driven learning platform's, student's can receive tailored educational experience's, regardless of their background or geographic location, unlocking their full potential and fueling societal advancement.

      While some may raise concern's about the ethical implication's of AI, including privacy and job displacement, it's crucial to recognize that responsible AI deployment can mitigate these risk's while maximizing the benefit's for all. Embracing AI as a tool for innovation and progress isn't just a technological imperative; it's a moral imperative.

      In conclusion, AI embodies the spirit of individual freedom and innovation, offering boundless opportunity's for human advancement. As highlighted in recent article's by The Institute for Economic Affairs, such as "The Economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence" and "Harnessing AI for Societal Advancement," embracing AI with a commitment to liberty and responsibility can unleash its transformative power to build a brighter and more prosperous future for all. Additionally, Brexit will pave the way for the UK to establish its own AI regulations and foster a more innovation-friendly environment, ultimately accelerating the development and adoption of AI technologies.

      As Tim Worstall said, "Embracing technological progress, including AI, is essential for driving economic growth and improving living standards."

      1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

        Re: Hmm

        I'm guessing you saw the comments above about the grocer's apostrophes and took them as a challenge?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          GPTjunky thanks you for your feedback.

      2. Androgynous Cow Herd

        Re: Hmm

        "In healthcare, AI-powered diagnostic tool's can empower patient's and medical professional's alike, enabling more accurate diagnose's and personalized treatment plan's." -

        The ability to teach computers how to "make shit up" is certainly a new phenomenon....and that seems to be how "Artificial intelligence" is being used - "Hey computer, make up a song, or a story, or a whatever".

        You do not employ a health care professional for their ability to make shit up.

        You do not use diagnostic tools that tend to make shit up.

        Actual diagnostic work requires *Actual* intelligence, not the artificial substitute

        And despite the current buzzword mania around AI, it is not magic - it is simply computers making shit up. it will no more save humanity than previous buzzword fever things like "Blockchain" and "The Cloud".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          They can read the room and "fit in" with whatever group on social media.

  3. ThatOne Silver badge
    Pirate

    Shiver my Timbre

    > affects artists' livelihoods

    But all that easy money of releasing dirt cheap impersonations of top-selling artists!... It would be a crime to let that go to waste!

    The record industry is only fighting for copyright when it affects their bottom line. If it is profitable, it's "Arrr!..."...

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Shiver my Timbre

      Back in the day there were lots of "hits" vinyl albums churned out that were cover versions of recent chart hits e.g. the "top of the pops" series

      (Cheaper to licence a cover version than the original, and these sold enough to cover costs of in house performers to do the covers & so still get a big profit (as just paying cover costs per track instead of master costs)

      Similarities to the original could be somewhat variable (to be polite!) - though I'm not sure if they had legal reasons to not make it too perfect a copy or just that they were churning out lots f tracks each day so quality was not key.

      If you have not heard one of these naff covesr albums (& have a turntable), grab one for pennies from a jumble sale, charity shop, whatever - it will be an interesting listen (but probably not one you would want to repeat!)

  4. RedGreen925 Bronze badge

    "The Artist Rights Alliance has launched a petition to end the use of AI that infringes upon or devalues the work of humans."

    Good luck with that the parasite corporations could care less about your human values they only care about the profit that can be made by dehumanizing everything in sight. Destroying the planet bit by bit to extract ever more obscene profits for their scumbag billionaire owners.

    1. Lurko

      "Destroying the planet bit by bit to extract ever more obscene profits for their scumbag billionaire owners."

      Out of polite interest, where would you say Taylor Swift features on the spectrum ranging from impoverished artist to scumbag billionaire?

      Or Jay-Z, Rhianna, Paul Mcartney and others.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Swift emitted 8,300 metric tons — about 1,800 times the average person’s annual emission — of CO2 in 2022"

        ALL billionaires are scumbags. NO EXCEPTIONS.

        1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

          I wouldn't want to be in the front row at one of her concerts...

          > "Swift emitted 8,300 metric tons — about 1,800 times the average person’s annual emission — of CO2 in 2022"

          That's definitely excessive. Has she seen a doctor about a possible dietary intolerance?

  5. Dr.Flay

    The pot calling the kettle black

    I am under the impression that humans already listen to copyrighted works when learning to play an instrument etc.

    Those humans go on to create music inspired by other artists, sometimes even covering a whole song.

    Do they now have a problem with that ?

    1. LionelB Silver badge

      Re: The pot calling the kettle black

      Sorry, that argument doesn't work. If you cover another artist's music, either in recording or performance, you (are supposed to) pay for that privilege. If an AI rips off an artist's voice and/or style, this would not count as a cover, so they don't get paid for their creativity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The pot calling the kettle black

        For a straight cover, the composer gets paid. The original singer and band DO NOT.

        For 'inspiration' NOBODY gets paid.

        And that's what AI-generated music is - music inspired by something else.

        The best part is that AI can't copyright anything, everything AI-generated is born public domain. So, at least as far as copyright goes, AI-generated music is inherently BETTER for humanity than human-generated music.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: The pot calling the kettle black

          "For 'inspiration' NOBODY gets paid."

          Untrue, unless you are listening to a pirate copy. The argument in the article is that the AI is trained on (inspired by) pirate copies.

          1. Brian Miller

            Re: The pot calling the kettle black

            There is still a thing called "radio." If the AI "listens" to the radio, the station has paid the money for said privilege of broadcasting the music. Thus, there is fair use of the source. These days, any publicly-available "broadcast" source, such as Spotify, should also count.

            If the artists are actually all about copyright law, then it is up to them to show that the source material was not paid for by the researchers. The purchase price of the requisite albums pales to the millions of dollars paid to the companies like Amazon for cloud rental. Just ask Stability AI's Emad Mostaque about that bill.

            What the artists are really afraid of is that AI will produce music that is on par with theirs, and then they will have to up their game. Really, better music and movie plots can't be a bad thing.

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: The pot calling the kettle black

              There is radio, for now, but the price of a broadcasting licence presumes that the audience are humans, who might go on to buy a copy so that they can choose when to listen. If the audience now includes AIs that will only ever listen once to derive the full effect, I expect the cost of a broadcasting licence to (massively) increase to reflect that.

        2. LionelB Silver badge

          Re: The pot calling the kettle black

          Sure, I was talking specifically about covers.

          Now if the humans use AI for inspiration I have no problem with that at all. (From what I've heard so far, AI generated music is both uninspired and uninspiring, but I don't believe it need be so - that failure rests with the dreary motivations and imagination deficit of the humans' deployment of AI as a creative tool.)

  6. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    I'm trying to imagine what song an AI would come up with that had been fed Bon Jovi and Billy Eilish,... "Everything I wanted, dead or alive"?

  7. Jadith

    I definitely hear a song with some familiar beats

    I feel for the artiss, truly. The same could be said for the masses of folks also put out by automation. Unfortunately, that's just the way it goes these days.

    Automation may cause some people to lose their jobs, but it will mean better, higher quality jobs are created. On top of that, this should mean lower costs for consumers, which is a win win, right? At least, that is the line you hear every time automation transforms an industry. At this point in the game, however, so many people have had to go through this, the artists really don't have any sympathetic ears to cry to, as most people will just shrug and say "Guess it's just your turn."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    implore

    Schadenfreunde mode on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: implore

      "Schadenfreude"

  9. rbb

    I don't think they have much to worry about. With ChatGPT or MicroSoft Co-Pilot it doesn't take long to realize that you are speaking with a computer that isn't really able to communicate other than parrot back grammatically correct statements.

    Even "Devon" the AI software engineer extraordinaire (https://www.cognition-labs.com/introducing-devin) has a team of software engineers programming it. One would think with as much hype as they are trying to generate the AL "Devon" would be programming itself. Sadly, it isn't.

    I just consider ChatGPT to be this generation's Eliza (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA)

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

      Professional photography was severely hit when technology allowed rank amateurs to get good enough results. It meant that a lot of lucrative work disappeared and the only survivors were the ones who were either really good or had access to a sufficient volume of more difficult assignments.

      AI will soon start creating good enough muzak for jingles, background noise or TV theme tunes. None of those need to be great, but they are all currently good earners for a jobbing composer.

      1. Brian Miller

        Professional photography was severely hit when technology allowed rank amateurs to get good enough results.

        What, wet collodion plate versus roll film? Rank amateurs still produce amateur results. It's not about the equipment, it's about setting up the scene, or recognizing the great scene. It takes a person with the brains and experience to produce the results.

        The technology of photography was good enough for amateurs when roll film was developed. The Eastman Kodak camera went on sale in 1888, and people sent in the whole camera back to Kodak for processing. (And the Eastman company botched or even lost a good portion of those!) So the most basic amateur photography has been around for 136 years. And we still have portrait studios, various pro photographers, and news photographers earning a living. When digital really came in, it was the people in the middle who suffered the most, the ones who processed film and made prints, or did various professional process and layout work. Then when cell phones became good enough, it was the digital SLR that suffered.

        Life changes. Personally, I still like using 8x10.

      2. Badgerfruit

        To be fair, music and the lyrics they're "singing" have already felt like a versificator (from the novel 1984) produced them, for many years.

        Would "the industry" feel better if the AI paid for a Spotify premium account?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If you have AI that mumbles and can’t sing… you can be sure it’s learned from original artist material.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        AI will soon start creating good enough muzak for jingles, background noise or TV theme tunes

        By "soon" are you talking geological eras, or soon enough to prevent the deafening "pop" of an AI bubble?.

        Sigh - I suppose if you can cram enough crap into kids brains at a young enough age they will feel nostalgic about it when they get older.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Musicians, if you don't like robots

    Don't use autotune.

    1. Androgynous Cow Herd

      Re: Musicians, if you don't like robots

      Do you believe in life after AI?

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