Earlier this month Timbaland ruffled some feathers when he announced his plans to legitimize AI music. In an exclusive interview with Forbes, the ace producer opened up about his vision to “commercialize artificial intelligence software that will revolutionize how songs are made.”
“It’s going to really be a new way of creating and a new way of generating money with less costs,” he said in an article published by Forbes on Monday (May 15). “I’m already here. This is what I’m doing. I’m going to lead the way,” Tim declared.
The 51-year-old believes rising talent could benefit from AI voice technology in a variety of ways, which will “usher in the new era.”
While his head is in the right place, and I also believe commercializing AI is the right move, not everyone in the music industry is particularly in support. In a new post shared on his Instagram stories, Grammy-winning producer Young Guru called the idea dangerous and declared to be on the opposing side of the technology.
“@Timbaland I love you my brother. You know I do,” he captioned a headline of Tim’s AI vision. “But this ain’t it!!! This is dangerous and at basic level it’s corny!!
“I will be on the side of the luddites,” he added.
The producer had previously expressed concern over an AI-generated Jay-Z verse back in April.
“On one hand I’m well aware that you can’t stop technology. Once the genie is out of the box you can put him back in,” he wrote on Instagram. “On the other hand, we have to protect the rights of the artist. Not only artist[s] but everyone in society.”
He continued, “People should not be able to take your name, image and likeness without permission. We have to add the voice to this law. We have to learn from past mistakes. You would be a fool to chase every person that is going to do this. We learned that lesson with Napster. The only way I see to deal with it is to change the law. There are so many different opinions. We could change the United States law tomorrow but the internet is world wide. What a time we live in!!”
The likes of Snoop Dogg and Drake have also shared their disapproval of AI generated music. Universal Music Group also called on streaming companies to block AI companies from accessing its songs.
Timbaland first received criticisms for making a new song using AI generated Biggie voice. He later announced in an interview that the collaboration — voiced by rapper Michael S. Wilson II, who goes by The Real Mike Wilson — will not be released unless the Brooklyn legend’s estate gives the all-clear.
The technology developed by Labs, a Miami-based company is still being mastered and will reportedly take two years to start producing songs that would be deemed high quality.
What do you think?