AI-Generated Work Playlist Now Available Thanks to Universal’s New Deal

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Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music record label, has just made a major leap in its collaboration with artificial intelligence (AI) music company Endel. This groundbreaking deal allows UMG to utilize AI in order to help create AI-assisted music. Whereas popular music artists have previously used AI to sing other people’s songs, Endel takes a more functional approach, producing music that is designed for passive listening―background music such as meditation and sleep tracks.

This successful collaboration between UMG and Endel results from the use of stems―sounds created by the artist which are then used to produce continuously morphing songs that correspond to a listener’s current mood. In the past, musical artist Grimes has also utilized Endel to develop her ambient and groovy tracks.

The agreement between UMG and Endel serves as a stark contrast to UMG’s recent statements on the use of AI in the music industry. In particular, the entertainment company has expressed concern over its potential to infringe upon artist’s intellectual property and significantly disrupt music production. Just last month, a duet between UMG artists Drake and The Weeknd was anonymously released online, quickly gaining traction and becoming the object of scorn for various stakeholders in the music industry. Similarly, rapper Ice Cube has publicly discussed his concern over AI-created tunes and vowed to take legal action against any AI creator that uses his voice.

With the new partnership, UMG is seeking to establish specific parameters between AI and the music industry that adequately protect its users and their work. Moving forward, it is especially crucial to establish a framework that will distinguish AI-generated music created to assist, not replicate, the work of human artists. It is only with a greater understanding of the potential consequences of AI capabilities that progress in this area can be made safely. With the help of Endel, UMG stands to provide a necessary step forward in the sector.

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