YouTube has recently approved the development of a groundbreaking artificial intelligence tool that enables users to emulate the voices of their beloved recording artists. As outlined in a Billboard report, this tool empowers individuals to create videos using the voices of well-known musicians. Nevertheless, the beta launch of this tool has encountered a hurdle, as record companies are taking their time to negotiate agreements with YouTube.
The AI tool has been specifically crafted to grant a handpicked group of artists the authority to allow creators to incorporate their voices into their creations and subsequently share this content with the public. Additionally, YouTube is affording these select recording artists the opportunity to contribute their insights to enhance the efficiency of the company’s AI strategy.
Originally, the prominent video streaming platform intended to unveil this new product during its Made On YouTube event in September. However, major labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group are still in the process of finalizing licensing arrangements with YouTube that encompass the rights to an artist’s vocal likeness.
Certain influential figures within the music industry are embracing the potential of AI technology. For instance, UMG CEO Lucian Grainge has expressed that this technology has the capacity to “amplify human imagination and enrich musical creativity in extraordinary new ways.” Similarly, WMG CEO Robert Kyncl has stated, “You have to embrace the technology, because it’s not like you can put technology in a bottle.”
However, there are others who are apprehensive about relinquishing their bargaining power in these negotiations, as well as the challenge of obtaining approval from popular artists for a tool that could potentially be used in a manner they do not endorse.
UMG recently withdrew a track titled “Heart On My Sleeve” that utilized AI-generated voices resembling those of Drake and The Weeknd. While the song gained traction on social media, it was subsequently removed due to concerns of copyright infringement.