Can AI Music Be Done Ethically? — Worldwide Independent Network Announces New Guidance on GenAI

Can AI music be developed ethically?
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Can AI music be developed ethically?
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Photo Credit: Gee Davy (AIM) & Noemí Planas (WIN)

The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) creates new guidance on generative AI, outlining five key principles to help ensure ethical development.

The organization connecting and developing the global independent music community, Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), has released new guidance on generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), outlining five key principles and calling for engagement through ethical development hand-in-hand with music.

Their collective effort is the result of extensive consultation with the global independent music community, acknowledging the possibilities that AI offers while underlining that “training” AI models on music and related content is subject to copyright and requires prior permission. Further, WIN calls for developers and policymakers worldwide to work together with the independent music community to achieve responsible and ethical GenAI development.

Thousands of independent music businesses make up WIN’s membership, and play a vital role in promoting new talent and diversity of genres and languages in the global music marketplace. The new principles highlight their call for consistent high standards across the globe, as well as to engage with AI developers to build a licensing marketplace that works for everyone.

“The global independent music community welcomes new technological developments which respect the value of music and creators’ rights,” said WIN CEO Noemí Planas. “These principles for generative AI are the result of extensive consultation with independents around the world and align with our recently published Global Independent Values. With these principles provided as a compass, we look forward to collaborating with responsible AI developers and inspiring policymakers around the world.”

“AI is a hugely exciting technology with far-reaching benefits and potential new commercial and creative avenues,” adds Association of Independent Music (AIM) CPO and Interim CEO Gee Davy. “The recent wave of generative AI tools creates both opportunities and a very legitimate concern to protect music and musicians from bad actors who seek to undermine the value of music rather than engage constructively.”

“With laws and regulations around AI emerging around the world, it’s essential to ensure they properly support human artistry and innovation,” Davy continues. “The global independent music community believes in leadership through knowledge-sharing and inclusive discussion. These principles have been created in that light, to provide the basis for meaningful collaboration and create a successful and creative future for AI in music, to the benefit of all participants.”

WIN’s five principles for generative AI are as follows, with the full version available on their website:

  1. AI development is subject to copyright
  2. Prioritizing a human-centered approach
  3. Safety of creators, fans, consumers, and the public
  4. Transparency as a fundamental element
  5. Ethical AI development hand-in-hand with music