China Implements Restrictions On AI Development As UMG Takes Action Against Copycats
China is looking to curb the development of generative Artificial Intelligence in the country, as proposed measures from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) call for tighter controls over the research, development, and use of AI. The measures apply to the use of AI-powered tech that generates text, images, sounds, videos, codes, and other content.
Tech firms in China will need to submit the following security assessments to the “national network information department” before their AI services can be used by consumers:
- The content generated by AI must not contain any extremist content, violence, ethnic hatred, or pornography.
- It must reflect the core values of socialism.
- AI service providers must ensure that users “scientifically understand and rationally use” the content generated by AI, and that it does not damage the image or reputation of others, engage in commercial hype or improper marketing, or disrupt economic and social order.
In the music industry, AI and its potential to infringe on copyrighted content is becoming an increasingly pressing concern for major rightsholders as well. Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest recorded music rightsholder, has reportedly told Spotify and Apple Music to limit AI-powered tech from ‘scraping melodies and lyrics’ from its artists’ songs.
AI services are trained on existing copyrighted music to generate new content, raising concerns about copyright infringement. UMG has informed the streaming services that they “have become aware that certain AI systems might have been trained on copyrighted content without obtaining the required consents from, or paying compensation to, the rightsholders who own or produce the content.”
The company has also warned it will not hesitate to take steps to protect their rights and those of their artists. Interestingly, Universal is partly owned by a China-based tech giant that holds control of 20% of UMG since 2020. The consortium is led by Tencent, which has developed its own AI tools, including natural language processing, speech recognition, and patented voice synthesis technology.
The rapid development of AI has raised concerns, with over 1,000 signatories, including hundreds of tech, science, and academic leaders, signing an open letter calling for AI labs around the world “to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”
While some may view AI as a threat, the technology has the potential to revolutionize the music industry, among others. For example, AI can be used to produce music that mimics a particular artist’s style, thereby allowing deceased artists to continue to release new music. In addition, AI can be used to analyze data to identify trends and predict what people will enjoy, helping music companies create music that appeals to their target audience.
The music industry has already embraced AI technology. Spotify, for example, uses AI to create personalized playlists based on users’ listening habits. The company’s algorithms analyze users’ listening history and preferences, and then create a customized playlist based on their interests. Similarly, Apple Music uses AI to create personalized playlists and to suggest new music that users may enjoy.
As incredible as AI technology is, it’s not without its limitations. Take, for instance, AI-generated music, which can produce notes and melodies, but lacks the soul-stirring emotional connection that comes with music created by humans. Sure, it can mimic an artist’s style, but it can’t replicate the artist’s raw emotions or the intense feelings that are a vital ingredient in music. Also, AI-generated music might miss the mark when it comes to unpredictable twists and turns, which are a hallmark of human creativity.
The proposed measures by the Cyberspace Administration of China have caused apprehension among tech companies. To stay informed about how this situation will unfold, stay tuned to MusicPromoToday. And, for breaking news and trends in the music world and beyond, check out the MPT Agency Blog.
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