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More than 200 artists, including big names like Billie Eilish, Kacey Musgraves, J Balvin, and Katy Perry, have joined together to speak out against artificial intelligence-related threats in the music industry. The artists, organized by the non-profit Artist Rights Alliance, are calling on AI developers, technology companies, platforms, and digital music services to stop using AI in ways that devalue the rights of human artists. The open letter highlights how AI is poised to reshape creative industries and the US economy, but its potential negative impacts are still poorly understood.

The letter specifically points out threats such as deepfakes and voice cloning, as well as irresponsible uses of AI that can diminish royalty payments to artists and infringe upon their rights. The artists believe that AI has enormous potential to advance human creativity when used responsibly but decry the current unethical uses of AI in the music industry. They urge digital music platforms and services to commit to protecting artists against the predatory use of AI to steal their voices and likenesses.

The signatories of the letter include a wide range of artists, songwriters, celebrities, and leading entertainment companies. They express concerns that the threats of artificial intelligence are exacerbating the already tough working conditions for artists in the streaming world. The unethical use of generative AI to replace human artists is seen as devaluing the entire music ecosystem, affecting both artists and fans alike. The ARA’s executive director states that the added burden of competing with AI-generated noise is impacting working musicians.

The potential threat of artificial intelligence goes beyond the music industry, with ramifications across the entertainment business. The open letter brings together A-listers to shine a spotlight on the growing concern of AI in the industry. AI protections were a central point of last year’s negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and WGA, and continue to be a key issue in ongoing labor union deals. The impact of AI on jobs was highlighted by media mogul Tyler Perry’s decision to halt plans for a studio expansion after seeing AI capabilities that could lead to job losses.

Overall, the open letter showcases the collective concern of artists and industry professionals regarding the unethical use of artificial intelligence in the music industry and beyond. The potential for AI to reshape creative industries and the economy is significant, but the negative impacts highlighted in the letter must be addressed to protect the rights and livelihoods of human artists. The call for responsible AI use and protection against AI threats is a pressing issue that requires attention and action from all stakeholders in the entertainment business.

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