Musicians and the fight for fairness in the age of GenAI

Artists say generative AI systems are threatening their livelihoods. Jenn Anderson-Miller, CEO of music licensing company Audiosocket, has ideas about how to address the issue.

The growth of generative AI technology has led to concerns about the data that AI technology companies use to train their systems.

Authors, journalists and now musicians have accused generative AI vendors of using copyrighted material to train large language models.

More than 200 musicians signed an open letter released Tuesday by the Artist Rights Alliance calling on AI developers to stop their "assault on human creativity." While the artists argue that responsible use of generative AI technology could help the music industry, they also maintain that irresponsible use could threaten the livelihoods of many.

The problem is permissions, said Jenn Anderson-Miller, CEO and co-founder of music licensing company Audiosocket, on the Targeting AI podcast from TechTarget Editorial.

"It's widely understood that a lot of these training models have trained on copyrighted material without the permission of the rights holders," Anderson-Miller said.

While it's true that the musicians did not produce evidence of how their works have been infringed on, generative AI vendors such as OpenAI have failed to prove that they didn't infringe on copyrighted works, she said.

For Anderson-Miller, one solution to the problem is creating a collaborative effort with musicians that would include licensing.

As a company that represents more than 3,000 artists, Audiosocket recently inserted an AI clause into its artist agreement. In the clause, Audiosocket defined traditional and generative AI, and said it plans to support the ecosystem of traditional AI.

"We don't see this as directly threatening our artists," Anderson-Miller said. "We see this as, if anything, it's helping our artists."

Esther Ajao is a TechTarget Editorial news writer and podcast host covering artificial intelligence software and systems. Shaun Sutner is senior news director for TechTarget Editorial's information management team, driving coverage of artificial intelligence, unified communications, analytics and data management technologies. Together, they host the Targeting AI podcast series.

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