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Universal Music Asks Streaming Services To Block AI Bots From Accessing Their Music Catalogue

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Amid the growing popularity of fans using AI technology to mimic the voices of famous rappers, Universal Music has urged Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal to block AI companies from accessing their songs.

According to the Financial Times, UMG has become increasingly concerned about AI bots using their songs to train themselves to churn out music that sounds like popular musicians and they want streaming services to shut it down.

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“This next generation of technology poses significant issues,” said a person close to the situation per FT. “Much of [generative AI] is trained on popular music. You could say: compose a song that has the lyrics to be like Taylor Swift, but the vocals to be in the style of Bruno Mars, but I want the theme to be more Harry Styles. The output you get is due to the fact the AI has been trained on those artists’ intellectual property.

UMG’s proposed affirmative action comes days after a new AI recording of Drake rapping Ice Spice’s ‘Munch (Feelin’ U)’ surfaced online. The Canadian seemingly isn’t a fan of his AI version and in response wrote “This the final straw AI.”

In recent weeks AI recordings of Jay-Z and Kanye West have also gone viral.

Universal Music, which is home to artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Taylor Swift and many others said in a statement to online platforms last month that “We will not hesitate to take steps to protect our rights and those of our artists.”

“We have a moral and commercial responsibility to our artists to work to prevent the unauthorised use of their music and to stop platforms from ingesting content that violates the rights of artists and other creators,” a UMG spokesperson told the FT. “We expect our platform partners will want to prevent their services from being used in ways that harm artists.”

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