Music

Universal Music, Roland Corporation Publish ‘Principles for Music Creation With AI’ Guidelines

As artificial intelligence and its potential effects on creativity, copyright and a host of other sectors continues to dominate conversation, the Universal Music Group and electronic instruments maker Roland Corporation have teamed up to create a set of guidelines that the companies published under the heading “Principles for Music Creation With AI.”

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The seven principles, or “clarifying statements,” as the companies put it, are an acknowledgment that AI is certainly here to stay, but that it should be used in a responsible and transparent way that protects and respects human creators. The companies say that they hope additional organizations will sign on to support the framework. The seven principles, which can be found with slightly more detail at this site, are as follows:

— We believe music is central to humanity.

— We believe humanity and music are inseparable.

— We believe that technology has long supported human artistic expression, and applied sustainably, AI will amplify human creativity.

— We believe that human-created works must be respected and protected.

— We believe that transparency is essential to responsible and trustworthy AI.

— We believe the perspectives of music artists, songwriters, and other creators must be sought after and respected.

— We are proud to help bring music to life.

The creation of the principles is part of a partnership between UMG and Roland that will also involve research projects, including one designed to create “methods for confirming the origin and ownership of music,” according to a press release.

“As companies who share a mutual history of technology innovation, both Roland and UMG believe that AI can play an important role in the creative process of producing music,” Roland’s chief innovation officer Masahiro Minowa said in a statement. “We also have a deep belief that human creativity is irreplaceable, and it is our responsibility to protect artists’ rights. The Principles for Music Creation with AI establishes a framework for our ongoing collaboration to explore opportunities that converge at the intersection of technology and human creativity.”

Universal has been proactive around the issue of AI in music over the past several months, partnering with YouTube last summer on a series of AI principles and an AI Music Incubator to help artists use AI responsibly, forming a strategic partnership with BandLab to create a set of ethical practices around music creation, and partnering with Endel on functional music, among other initiatives. But UMG has also taken stands to protect against what it sees as harmful uses of AI, including suing AI platform Anthropic for allegedly using its copyrights to train its software in creating new works, and cited AI concerns as part of its rationale for allowing its licensing agreement with TikTok to expire earlier this year.

“At UMG, we have long recognized and embraced the potential of AI to enhance and amplify human creativity, advance musical innovation, and expand the realms of audio production and sound technology,” UMG’s executive vp and chief digital officer Michael Nash said in a statement. “This can only happen if it is applied ethically and responsibly across the entire industry. We are delighted to collaborate with Roland, to explore new opportunities in this area together, while helping to galvanize consensus among key stakeholders across music’s creative community to promote adoption of these core principles with the goal of ensuring human creativity continues to thrive alongside the evolution of new technology.”

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