YouTube Partners with Universal Music Group for AI Music Incubator

Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO stated that the music industry’s best bet for success in the face of AI was an artist-centric approach to generative AI. 

Universal Music Group has partnered with video streaming platform YouTube to launch the YouTube Music AI incubator, a program aimed at fostering creative expression while protecting the interests of artists on the platform.

According to a press release from Universal Music dated August 21, the incubator was launched with artists, songwriters, and producers from its ranks taking part. The multi-genre list includes Anitta, Björn Ulvaeus, d4vd, Don Was, Juanes, Louis Bell, Max Richter, Rodney Jerkins, Rosanne Cash, Ryan Tedder, Yo Gotti, and the Estate of Frank Sinatra.

YouTube CEO Neal Mohan outlined the platform’s AI music principles and shared his vision for enhanced creative expression in a safe environment. The principles, in summary, acknowledge the emergence of AI, a technology that the platform believes is “ushering in a new age of creative expression” but must be embraced responsibly. They also stress the need for appropriate protections and opportunities for members of the music industry to balance creativity and protection. YouTube also plans to invest in trust and safety and has also pledged to build on existing trust and safety policies to ensure that viewers and creators are protected even as the use of AI continues to grow.

Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge, who played a key part in shaping the principles, stated that the music industry’s best bet for success in the face of AI was an artist-centric approach to generative AI.

“Our challenge and opportunity as an industry is to establish effective tools, incentives and rewards – as well as rules of the road – that enable us to limit AI’s potential downside while promoting its promising upside. If we strike the right balance, I believe AI will amplify human imagination and enrich musical creativity in extraordinary new ways,” the CEO commented.

He also went on to address concerns that the technology would negatively impact the industry:

“Artificial Intelligence is built to empower human creativity, and not the other way around.  AI will never replace human creativity because it will always lack the essential spark that drives the most talented artists to do their best work, which is intention. From Mozart to The Beatles to Taylor Swift, genius is never random.”

With the increased use of AI in the creative process in various forms of art, it goes without saying that current intellectual property and copyright concepts will need to be revised. Christian Mammen, partner and chair of Womble Bond Dickinson’s US Intellectual Property Litigation Group stated:

“I don’t know that we need a full-blown overhaul of the laws just to accommodate this new technology. But there may be some places where it’s worth having a conversation about tinkering with the law or modifying the law in certain ways.”

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Mercy Mutanya is a Tech enthusiast, Digital Marketer, Writer and IT Business Management Student.
She enjoys reading, writing, doing crosswords and binge-watching her favourite TV series.

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