The Grammy Awards will now consider tracks produced with AI, as stated by Harvey Mason Jr., CEO and President of the Recording Academy. This decision was made to adapt to the evolving music industry and was reached after seeking input from copyright officials and other stakeholders.
To clarify, music created using AI tools as a collaborative effort with humans will still be eligible for award consideration. However, the updated rules on copyright state that the award can only be won by human creators. According to the regulations, any work that does not have a human author is ineligible for any category. These guidelines align with the US Copyright Office’s rules and have been incorporated into the new Grammy guidelines.
According to Recording Academy CEO and President Harvey Mason Jr., music that includes AI-generated elements is fully eligible for Grammy consideration. However, he clarified that the AI portion would not be awarded a Grammy or nomination.
This is how it would work: If an AI or a voice modelling program performs the vocals on a track, it could qualify for a Grammy in the songwriting category but not in the performance category. On the other hand, if a human vocalist sings the song, but AI writes the music and lyrics, it would qualify in the performance category but not in the composition or songwriting category.
“We don’t want to see technology replace human creativity. We want to ensure technology enhances, embellishing, or adds to human creativity. So that’s why we took this particular stand in this award cycle,”
Numerous songs have already been produced using AI and can be found on streaming and social media platforms. One example is a Beatles track where Paul McCartney acknowledged using AI to extrapolate John Lennon’s voice from an old demo. Would this song qualify for a Grammy nomination? Without a complete understanding of the extent of AI involvement, it is difficult to determine what may occur.
How the transition will account for the existing AI-generated content model remains unclear. Most AI-generation platforms allow users to utilize their creations for various purposes, including commercial releases. However, the copyright ultimately belongs to the AI platform’s company. Furthermore, copyright laws do not acknowledge pure AI (without human involvement) as a legal “author” with rights.
However, is it possible for things to be different in the future?