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YouTube launches AI music incubator, pledges to protect artists

As the debate on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creative industry intensifies, YouTube has announced the launch of an AI music incubator as it seeks to integrate the technology while still protecting artists.

In a blog post, the video-sharing platform shared its stance on the role of AI in the music industry, stating, “AI is here, and we will embrace it responsibly together with our music partners.”

This year, the platform has recorded over 1.7 billion views of videos related to generative AI tools. As such, YouTube has pledged to embrace the technology with “a commitment to responsibility.”

The company shared the three principles it will adhere to as it threads the line between promoting innovation and protecting the artists. The first is a commitment to champion the technology in partnership with its music partners.

To this end, the company has launched an AI music incubator in partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG) (NASDAQ: UMGNF), the world’s largest record label. The collaboration will onboard some of the world’s biggest artists, including Björn Ulvaeus of the band ABBA, Latin American superstar Anitta and the estate of the legendary Frank Sinatra.

UMG CEO Sir Lucian Grainge, who has been outspoken about the dangers of AI in the music industry, says there’s a need to strike the right balance in integrating the technology. With the right limits, AI can “amplify human imagination and enrich musical creativity.”

“AI will never replace human creativity because it will always lack the essential spark that drives the most talented artists to do their best work, which is intention. From Mozart to The Beatles to Taylor Swift, genius is never random,” added Grainge, who played a key part in shaping YouTube’s AI principles.

In his remarks, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan said the company is excited about the opportunity of AI to “supercharge creativity around the world.”

YouTube’s commitment to AI comes just as a U.S. judge ruled that AI-generated artwork can’t be copyrighted. The DC judge pointed out that human authorship is the bedrock of copyright laws.

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