Home Business Recording Academy CEO says musicians should embrace, not fear, A.I.

Recording Academy CEO says musicians should embrace, not fear, A.I.

Before becoming the CEO of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr. wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. Even with this strong artistic background, Mason Jr. is a believer that A.I. will complement, not compete, with musicians.

“I think if we get the right guide rails in place, A.I. can be a creative amplifier, not a replacement for creativity,” Mason Jr. said Wednesday at Fortune Brainstorm Tech in a conversation with conference co-chair Terri Burns. “That’s what technology has been throughout history since somebody invented a drum or a wood stick with some holes in it; the flute.”

As the Recording Academy’s chief executive at this critical moment in technology, Mason Jr.’s embrace of A.I. may alter the course of musical history. 

Mason Jr. acknowledges both the “terrifying” and “great” nature of A.I. He cited “Heart On My Sleeve,” a song featuring A.I. versions of rapper Drake and the Weeknd—and which garnered millions of plays before Universal Music Group removed the song citing infringement—as the shining example. “Consumers want music by their favorite artists, they want to hear their favorite singers or rappers performing songs. So the possibility of A.I. contributing to that is both interesting and a little bit scary,” he said. 

Still, he said that creators are not “embracing” A.I., and chalks that up to fear. “It’s scary when you hear your voice being replicated, without an agreement, or even attribution or remuneration, coming back to you as an artist, or as a singer, as a writer.”

This fear came to a head with the release, and ultimate takedown, of “Heart On My Sleeve.” And while most artists seemed opposed to digital duplication as the song made headlines, singer Grimes embraced the possibility of her A.I. clone—so long as she receives 50% royalties. “Same deal as I would with any artist i collab with. Feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings,” she Tweeted in April.

As an artist and executive Mason Jr. seems to have done it all. He served as musical producer on Pitch Perfect 2, Get on Up and Straight Outta Compton. He’s written and produced prolific songs like Jennifer Huson’s “And I Am Telling You” and Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You.” In May of 2021 he became the chief executive officer of The Recording Academy, which hosts the Grammy Awards and serves as the music industry’s informal governing body.

He noted that digital work, including A.I., has never been excluded from the Grammy Awards. And he said he hoped that more creators will experiment with A.I. and redefine human ownership of digital work. “We as an academy want to award human creativity,” he said. “I can’t even understand how we would award a Grammy to a computer.”

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.

Source link

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles


Elon Musk wants to avoid another ‘rock tornado’ next time Starship launches. SpaceX just tested a way to prevent it 

SpaceX fired up the engines on its latest Starship booster Sunday afternoon in...


Trump pleads not guilty trying to overturn the 2020 election

 Donald Trump pleaded not guilty Thursday to trying to overturn the results of...


AEI makes a bold housing market call that U.S. home prices will jump 6% in 2023 and another 7% in 2024

The AEI Housing Center recently announced a significant upward revision to its...


Ivy Plus college degrees translate into more elite jobs

Until recently, economists believed Ivy League colleges weren’t necessarily worth the price...