An anonymous creator using the name Ghostwriter has created an AI-generated track called “Heart On My Sleeve” that mimics the sounds of popular artists Drake and The Weeknd.
The track has gone viral and has raised questions about the future of the music industry. As the world buzzed about Drake’s latest chart-topping single “Search & Rescue” this new track with his and The Weeknd’s vocals emerged from nowhere and captured listeners’ attention.
AI-Generated Track Violates Copyright Laws
The deep fake song features references to Selena Gomez, who reportedly used to date The Weeknd. The song has been picked up by various social media platforms, including YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter, and has been criticized by Universal Music Group (UMG) for violating copyright law.
According to a spokesperson from UMG in a statement to Billboard, the use of generative AI to train with their artists’ music is a violation of their agreements and copyright law. They also expressed concern about the availability of infringing content that has been created using generative AI on DSPs. The spokesperson added that they are encouraged by their platform partners’ engagement on these issues and recognize the need for them to be part of the solution.
Interestingly, it was no ordinary tune, as the AI replicated the vocal nuances of the two hitmakers to near perfection. It drew over 600,000 streams on Spotify alone, before removed on the same day. However, it still persists on platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, keeping the momentum of this unexpected AI-generated hit going.
What Does it Mean for Already Booming Deep Fake Trend?
Deep fakes are the manipulated digital media that can deceive viewers into thinking that something is real when it is not. In recent years, deep fake videos have been excessively used and shared online to create fake news or to damage reputations. For example, in 2018, a deep fake video of former US President Barack Obama was created by manipulating existing footage of his speeches, to make it appear as if he was saying things he never actually said.
The music industry is not immune to the threat of deep fakes, with the emergence of AI-generated tracks that replicate the vocals and style of popular artists. The fact that an AI-generated song like “Heart on My Sleeve” can sound so convincingly like it was performed by Drake and The Weeknd is both impressive and baffling at the same time.
One cannot be 100% sure whether to appreciate the AI advancement or rage over the technology’s ability to potentially mislead the public. It’s worth noting that this is not the first time that AI has been used to create music that replicates popular artists. According to reports, a tool called “OpenAI Jukebox” was able to generate new songs in the style of various popular artists, including Elvis Presley, Katy Perry, and Beyonce in 2019.
Impact on Real Artists
This trend could have a significant impact on the music industry, especially on real artists who rely on their creative integrity, unique voices and musical styles to create original works. If AI-generated music becomes more widespread and accepted by listeners, it could reduce the demand for real artists and potentially threatening their livelihoods. Copyright infringement issues will certainly occur frequently, as the AI-generated songs most likely involve the unauthorized use of samples from existing songs or recordings.
The music industry will need to decide whether to resist generative AI or embrace it as an enhancing tool for the artists and labels. The technology can offer many new opportunities for innovation and creativity as long as it preserves the human artistry. It can assist musicians such as creating original compositions, generating lyrics, and suggesting chord progressions. This can save musicians time and effort in the creative process and provide them with new ideas and inspiration.