"The Grammy will go to human creators at this point."

Music to Our Ears

The man in charge of the Recording Academy's Grammy Awards just laid out some AI guidelines for the upcoming awards season.

And though these guidelines are pretty muddled — okay, extremely muddled — he did say that the coveted awards will, for now, continue to only be handed to "human creators."

"At this point, we are going to allow AI music and content to be submitted," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason, Jr. told Grammys.com last week, "but the Grammys will only be allowed to go to human creators who have contributed creatively in the appropriate categories."

The news should delight record labels and artists such as Aubrey "Drake" Graham, who has been on a tirade to remove AI-generated music cloning his voice from music streaming services.

Mason's vaguely worded statement also highlights just how confusing the world of AI-generated music has become.

Consider This

And his comments aren't exactly going to set the record straight, if you will, either.

"If there's an AI voice singing the song or AI instrumentation, we'll consider it," he continued. "But in a songwriting-based category, it has to have been written mostly by a human. Same goes for performance categories – only a human performer can be considered for a Grammy."

"If AI did the songwriting or created the music, that's a different consideration," he added. "But the Grammy will go to human creators at this point."

So, presuming we have this right: AI-facilitated music and content can be submitted, and an AI-powered voice or instrumentation is deemed acceptable within the context of a broader piece of music. But at the same time, an AI won't be considered a performer or songwriter, and thus can't actually win by itself.

Times A-Changin'

Mason's explanation may be confusing, but who can blame the guy? After all, while some folks in the industry hate AI-generated music, others, like Claire "Grimes" Boucher, have moved to publicly embrace it.

It's also true that while copyright law certainly stands to be a concern when it comes to AI-generated tunes, music and technology have long been closely intertwined.

If this is the age of AI, it's only just getting started, and it's hard to draw clearly defined lines in the sand.

Or at least, it will be for the Recording Academy.

AI "is going to absolutely, unequivocally have a hand in shaping the future of our industry," Mason told Grammys.com. "So, we have to start planning around that and thinking about what that means for us... there are a lot of things that need to be addressed around AI as it relates to our industry."

More on AI and music: Furious Record Label Gets AI-Generated Drake Song Deleted

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