Forty groups representing artists and performers launch a campaign for AI that supports human creativity and accomplishment

Source: RIAA
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March 17, 2023
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Challenges
Source: RIAA
March 17, 2023
Challenges

A broad coalition announced the launch of the Human Artistry Campaign to ensure artificial intelligence technologies are developed and used in ways that support human culture and artistry – and not ways that replace or erode it. With more than 40 members, including major unions, trade associations, and policy experts representing individual creators and rightsholders from across the entire tapestry of creative endeavor, the Human Artistry Campaign is positioned to be a leading voice in the rapidly unfolding debate over the costs and benefits of different forms of AI.

The group outlined principles advocating AI best practices, emphasizing respect for artists, their work, and their personas; transparency; and adherence to existing law, including copyright and intellectual property. 

The campaign urges supporters to sign a petition to advance these fundamental principles.

The launch was announced at SXSW in Austin on March 16 at an event featuring voice actor and prolific songwriter Dan Navarro, GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Jessy Wilson and UT Austin professor and immersive technology expert Erin Reilly – and moderated by Rob Levine, Billboard’s Deputy Editorial Director.

Core Principles for Artificial Intelligence Applications in Support of Human Creativity and Accomplishments

1. Technology has long empowered human expression, and AI will be no different.

For generations, various technologies have been used successfully to support human creativity. Take music, for example… From piano rolls to amplification to guitar pedals to synthesizers to drum machines to digital audio workstations, beat libraries, and stems and beyond, musical creators have long used technology to express their visions through different voices, instruments, and devices. AI already is and will increasingly play that role as a tool to assist the creative process, allowing for a wider range of people to express themselves creatively. 

Moreover, AI has many valuable uses outside of the creative process itself, including those that amplify fan connections, hone personalized recommendations, identify content quickly and accurately, assist with scheduling, automate and enhance efficient payment systems – and more. We embrace these technological advances. 

2. Human-created works will continue to play an essential role in our lives. 

Creative works shape our identity, values, and worldview. People relate most deeply to works that embody the lived experience, perceptions, and attitudes of others. Only humans can create and fully realize works written, recorded, created, or performed with such specific meaning. Art cannot exist independently of human culture.

3. Use of copyrighted works, and use of the voices and likenesses of professional performers, requires authorization, licensing, and compliance with all relevant state and federal laws.

We fully recognize the immense potential of AI to push the boundaries for knowledge and scientific progress. However, as with predecessor technologies, the use of copyrighted works requires permission from the copyright owner. AI must be subject to free-market licensing for the use of works in the development and training of AI models. Creators and copyright owners must retain exclusive control over determining how their content is used. AI developers must ensure any content used for training purposes is approved and licensed by the copyright owner, including content previously used by any pre-trained AIs they may adopt. Additionally, performers’ and athletes’ voices and likenesses must only be used with their consent and fair market compensation for specific uses.

4. Governments should not create new copyright or other IP exemptions that allow AI developers to exploit creators without permission or compensation.

AI must not receive exemptions from copyright law or other intellectual property laws and must comply with core principles of fair market competition and compensation. Creating special shortcuts or legal loopholes for AI would harm creative livelihoods, damage creators’ brands, and limit incentives to create and invest in new works.

5. Copyright should only protect the unique value of human intellectual creativity.

Copyright protection exists to help incentivize and reward human creativity, skill, labor, and judgment -not output solely created and generated by machines. Human creators, whether they use traditional tools or express their creativity using computers, are the foundation of the creative industries and we must ensure that human creators are paid for their work.  

6. Trustworthiness and transparency are essential to the success of AI and protection of creators. 

Complete recordkeeping of copyrighted works, performances, and likenesses, including the way in which they were used to develop and train any AI system, is essential. Algorithmic transparency and clear identification of a work’s provenance are foundational to AI trustworthiness. Stakeholders should work collaboratively to develop standards for technologies that identify the input used to create AI-generated output. In addition to obtaining appropriate licenses, content generated solely by AI should be labeled, describing all inputs and methodology used to create it — informing consumer choices and protecting creators and rightsholders. 

7. Creators’ interests must be represented in policymaking. 

Policymakers must consider the interests of human creators when crafting policy around AI. Creators live at the forefront of, and are building and inspiring, evolutions in technology and, as such, need a seat at the table in any conversations regarding legislation, regulation, or government priorities regarding AI that would impact their creativity and the way it affects their industry and livelihood.

Human Artistry Campaign – Member Commentary

“Artists shape our culture and help build a richer, more meaningful world. We simply cannot hand over that great responsibility to computers. AI is a wonderful tool, but it needs to complement human creativity, not replace it. We will not sit on the sidelines while Big Tech once again defines the rules for a new creative frontier.” – A2IM President and CEO Richard Burgess 

“Black songwriters, producers, and artists already face an uphill battle for ownership, credit, and proper payment in the music industry. Although AI can be an incredible tool, without the protection of real human artistry, AI could devastate the Black creative community that leads so much of popular culture.” – Black Music Action Coalition Co-founder and Co-Chair Willie “Prophet” Stiggers

“Artists and all creators are determined to lead on this issue and make sure we have a thoughtful, serious debate about both the risks and the benefits of AI. And the time for that debate is now.” – Susan Genco, Board Member Music Artists Coalition

“Incredible music originates from individuals. As we face growing AI capabilities, we as an industry are united around the fact that human artistry must be protected by strong copyright law and policy and that AI tools are developed in ways that do not undermine the value of songwriters’ work.” – NMPA President & CEO David Israelite.

“There is so much potential with AI. But it also presents risks to our creative community. It’s crucial that we get this right early on so we don’t risk losing the artistic magic that only humans can create.” – Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr.

“Human artistry is irreplicable. Recent developments in AI are remarkable, but we have seen the costs before of rushing heedlessly forward without real thought or respect for law and rights. Our principles are designed to chart a healthy path for AI innovation that enhances and rewards human artistry, creativity, and performance.” – RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier

“It comes down to respect for creative workers and their craft. We have long fought for protections against the misappropriation of our members’ voices, likenesses, and performances, and we are excited to continue that vital work in conjunction with our coalition partners. As technology continues to improve storytelling, we want to ensure humans are always at the center of the story.” – SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland

“Artificial intelligence is a powerful, still-emerging technology that presents unique challenges as it matures in the creative arts space. We embrace the responsible use of AI, but recent advancements in AI have underscored the need to develop consensus on responsible use and to address important intellectual property concerns. Our culture and our technology must respect the foundational role that all creators play in AI’s ultimate output.”– SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe

About the Human Artistry Campaign: The Human Artistry Campaign was launched at SXSW 2023 for open dialogue and guidance from the united creative community in shaping the AI debate.

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Giuliano Picchi is a cultural manager, creative economy specialist, researcher, author, and founder, driven by the belief that the arts and culture are main forces of change and growth at a global level.

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