HomeBusinessYouTube’s new AI tool creates music with vocals of popular artists
YouTube’s new AI tool creates music with vocals of popular artists
November 17, 2023
YouTube announced a new AI tool that generates music tracks sung by popular artists like John Legend and Demi Lovato — although some critics bashed it as the latest technology that has robbed music of its “human spark.”
As of Thursday, US creators can access the AI tool called “Dream Track” in the video-sharing site’s short-form section, YouTube Shorts, where they’re encouraged to type a prompt that will produce an original, 30-second audio clip featuring the AI-generated voice of a selected artist, YouTube announced.
Nine popular artists lent their voices to Dream Tracks: John Legend, Demi Lovato, Charlie Puth, Sia, Alec Benjamin, Charli XCX, Papoose, T-Pain and Troye Sivan.
In a demo video featuring Charlie Puth’s voice, a user types this prompt into Dream Track: “A ballad about how opposites attract, upbeat acoustic.”
Then, Puth’s voice sings: “Baby, we’ve got nothing in common, but I know that I’m what you’ve been wanting for so long now.”
Commenters on the video didn’t seem thrilled by the Dream Track development.
“Youtube replacing creators now.. lovely. Sickening stuff,” one person wrote, while another chimed in: “Soon most of that human spark disappears completely and all you have is noise.”
“There is so much beautiful music out there if you look for it. The problem is that it’s being completely devalued by tech. Creative people make art because they have to. It’s who they are. The world we’re building here is making it harder and harder for those people to survive,” another wrote.
On other demo videos of the tech published to YouTube’s own account on the site garnered similar commentary, where one user sarcastically wrote: “Wooo lets put musicians out of business.”
“Washouts rejoice!” another quipped.
Yet another commenter pointed out that YouTube disabled viewers from seeing the amount of “dislikes” the video got, and only showed the number of “likes,” which was nearly 400 at the time of writing.
Dream Track was created in partnership with Google’s AI lab, DeepMind, which debuted Lyria, “our most advanced AI music generation model to date,” as well as a met of musical AI tools in order to power the new AI bot, Google said in its own press release.
When The Post reached out to Google, YouTube’s parent company, for comment, a spokesperson pointed to its press releases on Dream Tracks.
As some artists are contributing their voice to AI tech, others in the music industry have been filing lawsuits to ensure that their work isn’t stolen by a bot.
YouTube addressed potential concerns in its announcement. “As a myriad of companies map out their AI approach, we want ours to be defined by partnership and responsibility,” the company said, pointing to its newly-developed set of AI music principles.
The guidelines note that YouTube utilizes Content ID, a rights management technology that ensures copyright owners get paid for use of their content, and tapped talent from Universal Music Group’s roster to “gather insights on generative AI experiments and research that are being developed at YouTube.”
Meanwhile, Universal Music recently joined music publishers ABKCO and Concord in a lawsuit against AI company Anthropic in Tennessee federal court last month, accusing it of misusing an “innumerable” amount of copyrighted song lyrics to train its chatbot Claude.
The big-time publishers claimed in their filing that Anthropic violated their rights by using copyrighted lyrics from at least 500 songs, including from the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” and the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and Beyonce’s “Halo.”
Authors — including stand-up comic Sarah Silverman, who’s also a copyright owner — have filed similar litigation against Meta and OpenAI, which are behind LLaMA and ChatGPT, respectively.
Silverman filed separate lawsuits against each of the tech giants in July, claiming their AI models used content from her memoir, The Bedwetter, for training without her permission.
The complaints also included authors Christopher Golden and his award-winning novel Ararat, as well as Richard Kadrey, who wrote Sandman Slim.