Grimes invited musicians to use Artificial Intelligence to clone Grimes’ voice in order to create brand new songs.
Claire Boucher is the real name of the pop singer. She said that she would “split royalties 50% on any AI-generated songs which use my voice”.
It’s the same deal I would offer to any artist with whom I collaborate. “Feel free to use my vocals without penalty,” tweeted she.
Her announcement comes at a time when the music industry is scrambling to respond to a spate AI songs trained using artist’s voice.
Universal Music petitioned successfully streaming services last week to remove the song Heart On My Sleeve which featured deep-fake vocals by their artists Drake and The Weeknd.
The label issued a statement in which it said that “the training of AI generative using the music of our artists” was “a breach of copyright laws”. This position hasn’t been tested in court and is still a grey area.
According to a report, Universal was able to remove the track from YouTube due to the fact that it contained a sample unlicensed of Metro Boomin’ saying the name which is protected by copyright. This had nothing to do with the song, which appeared to be an original composition.
To put things in context, copyright law is based on making copies – be it of a melody, a lyric or by using a sample. It also includes derivative works like remixes. Heart On My Sleeve didn’t, it appears, directly steal elements from Drake’s previous songs.
The US Copyright Office has recently ruled that AI music and art cannot be protected by copyrights as they are “not created by humans”
Grimes tweeted that she was inspired by the idea of “open sourcing all artwork and killing copyright”.
The musician revealed that she is already working on a program “that should be able to simulate my voice very well”. She would also release acapella tracks so people can train their software.
Fans immediately shared links to their songs featuring her voice.
The Canadian artist expressed her excitement at the prospect of being “fused” with a machine. She added: “It’s cool”.
When asked how she would respond if someone used her voice for graphic, violent, or racist content, the singer responded that “she may do copyright takedowns only for rly, rly toxic lyrics”.
She said: “That’s my only rule… I don’t want to be responsible for any Nazi anthems unless they are in jest. A la Producers, I guess.” Mel Brooks’ famous satire was the inspiration.
She said she would also remove any songs that are “anti-abortion” or “something like that”.
In a subsequent tweet, Grimes stated that she was not sure if she had the right to request songs featuring her voice be removed.
She wrote: “Curious as to what the legality actually is.” “I don’t think I copied righted my name or likeness when it was a conversation.”
Grimes, as an artist, has explored the relationship between human and machine for many years. Songs like We appreciate power and Flesh Without Blood explore the ethical dilemmas surrounding Artificial Intelligence.
She also collaborated with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and the mood music company Endel in 2020 to create a lullaby created by AI for her first baby, named XAE A-12. According to Grimes, the character AE represents “the Elven pronunciation of AI”.
She said that she was inspired by the New York Times to “create a better baby sleep situation” using the software for her son.
In an interview , she said “AI is fantastic.” “I think AI is a creative solution to replace humans.
“I think that at some point we as a species will want to have a conversation about how AI will affect art.”