K-pop Giants Hybe and SM Entertainment Embrace AI in Music Production, Amid Controversy
Two of K-pop’s biggest music labels, Hybe and SM Entertainment, are venturing into the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) in music production. This technological revolution is shaping the future of the industry, but it is not without its share of controversy.
Hybe, the mastermind behind popular boy band BTS, has embraced AI as a key factor in its operation and strategy. In May, the label launched a project called Midnatt, where its male singer Lee Hyun released a song called Masquerade that was available in multiple languages, thanks to AI. This project was done in collaboration with Hybe’s interactive media arm, Hybe IM, and AI audio tech start-up Supertone.
Not to be outdone, SM Entertainment, home to K-pop groups like NCT and Aespa, is also jumping on the AI bandwagon. The label plans to unveil an AI-produced virtual singer named Naevis in 2024. Naevis has already made appearances in Aespa’s promotional content and is set to become a flawless digital avatar with impeccable movement, voice, and communication skills.
The integration of AI into the K-pop industry opens up new possibilities for virtual singers and idols. Virtual girl group Eternity, also known as Iiterniti, recently staged its first solo concert without human artists. As technology continues to advance, virtual idols are likely to make a breakthrough by utilizing AI in the creative process of their music.
While AI offers new opportunities, it also raises concerns among composers. The Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA), a non-profit copyright collective, believes that AI could disrupt the music industry. AI composers can produce music quickly and without restraints, posing a threat to human composers’ livelihoods and income. KOMCA calls for stricter regulations and laws on AI to protect copyright holders and ensure fair compensation.
The issue of copyright infringement and plagiarism also arises with AI composers. As AI studies databases of music, there is a risk of infringing on the copyright of original songs. KOMCA argues that clear criteria and legal protection should be established to address these concerns. To avoid disputes over copyright ownership, more laws are needed to govern AI-produced songs in collaboration with human partners.
As the K-pop industry embraces AI in music production, it is important to strike a balance between innovation and protecting the rights of human creators. Clear guidelines, regulations, and laws are necessary to ensure a fair and sustainable future for the industry.
Note: The article is generated by OpenAI’s language model and adheres to the guidelines provided.