Billie Eilish, Nicki Minaj Among 200 Artists Fighting ‘Catastrophic’ Use of AI in Music

Hundreds of musicians and songwriters have signed on to an open letter from the Artist Rights Alliance to demand a stop to what the group deems as devaluing artists’ work in the music industry by artificial intelligence.

“We call on all AI developers, technology companies, platforms and digital music services to pledge that they will not develop or deploy AI music-generation technology, content or tools that undermine or replace the human artistry of songwriters and artists or deny us fair compensation for our work.”

Many of the artists who have joined the Artist Rights Alliance movement are household names across generations: Billie Eilish, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Pearl Jam, Jon Bon Jovi, the Jonas Brothers, Peter Frampton, Billy Porter, Zayn Malik, Darius Rucker, Imagine Dragons, and Greta Van Fleet. The estates of Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra have also signed on.

The group said it wants to stop “irresponsible” AI uses that “sabotage creativity and undermine artists, songwriters, musicians. and rightsholders.”

“Make no mistake: we believe that, when used responsibly, AI has enormous potential to advance human creativity and in a manner that enables the development and growth of new and exciting experiences for music fans everywhere,” the alliance added.

Some musicians have embraced the emerging tech, from the surviving members of The Beatles—who used AI to release one last song—to Guns N’ Roses.

The Artist Rights Alliance asserts that left unchecked, AI will set in motion a race to the bottom, which will degrade the value of artists’ work preventing them from being fairly compensated for it.

“This assault on human creativity must be stopped,” the group said. “We must protect against the predatory use of AI to steal professional artists’ voices and likenesses, violate creator’s rights, and destroy the music ecosystem.”

Last year, Hollywood ground to a halt due to dual strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Among the myriad of issues the unions wanted addressed in their negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) was the use of artificial intelligence.

In November, Ed Newton-Rex, a former Stability AI vice president, publically resigned from the company over the Stability AI’s use of copyrighted material under “fair use.”

“My objection here isn’t really against Stability because Stability takes the same approach that many other generative AI companies in the space take,” Newton-Rex told Decrypt. “It’s really a cross-industry position that I object to. In effect, I was resigning from a whole group of companies who take the same approach.”

The Artist Rights Alliance did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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