Eurovision, the kitschy annual pop song contest, is debating a ban on artificial intelligence, the latest sign of the entertainment industry’s concerns over the emerging technology.
(Bloomberg) — Eurovision, the kitschy annual pop song contest, is debating a ban on artificial intelligence, the latest sign of the entertainment industry’s concerns over the emerging technology.
“What if at the Eurovision Song Contest we suddenly get an AI-created song?” said Jean-Philip de Tender, deputy director general of the European Broadcasting Union, an alliance of TV companies that oversees the contest. The EBU is “reflecting on how do we need this in the rulebook, that the creativity should come from humans and not from machines.”
While new rules require a discussion with the EBU’s members and governing bodies, the competition should reward “people on stage, who have achieved something in writing a song and performing a song,” de Tender said in an interview with Bloomberg Thursday at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
The music industry has been increasingly roiled by the use of generative AI. In April, Universal Music Group NV demanded platforms take down a viral song with the synthetically replicated voices of Drake and The Weeknd. This month, the label struck a deal with Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube to develop principles for using the technology.
Read More: YouTube and Universal Music Join Forces to Address AI Threat
However, some artists have embraced it. The musician Grimes said in April she’d share royalties with those who choose to use her audio likeness in AI, and in June Paul McCartney told the BBC that AI helped him complete what he called the final Beatles record.
Eurovision has inspired AI experiments in the past. In 2019, algorithms developed in part by Oracle Corp. analyzed hundreds of past submissions to create the melody and lyrics for “Blue Jeans and Bloody Tears,” a duet by 1978 Eurovision winner Izhar Cohen and a pink robot.
This year, Eurovision reached an audience of 162 million, according to the contest’s website. It has been running since 1956 and has helped catapult acts like ABBA to global success.
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