Updated: Jul 17
Until recently, the human integrity behind a song could never be questioned as, with absolute certainty, we could attribute the talent and flair behind it to a human. However, with the resurgence of AI 'deepfakes' circulating on social media and in the online world, it would be remiss to immediately credit a song's creativity to human hands. AI is now capable of replacing vocalists, writing lyrics and even writing entire tracks that could easily compete with human efforts. So, what does this mean for music?
The Positives of Deepfakes
The idea of fake AI music may sound catastrophic to an industry that is so inherently creative and human, but deepfakes could actually offer a positive impact on the music industry. Foregone artists such as Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, each having left this world with a staggering fanbase who would kill to hear more music from their beloved artist, could previously only rely on their living creative output to maintain a significant legacy.
However, we can now harness the power of AI to create new songs, or even entire albums, that build upon a foregone artist's back-catalogue. AI is capable of studying entire discographies, using each song as a precise, in-depth case study to inform & create more and more hits with an artist's exact musical fingerprint. Sound great, right? Who doesn't want to hear another romantic Sinatra record?
The Shortcomings of Deepfakes
Despite the exciting prospect of deepfake music, it has to be said that, on balance, AI-generated music is problematic for the music industry. Sure - we'd all love another Sinatra record - but if we can never get the co-sign from the man himself, how can we guarantee that it's an authentic record that Frank himself would have signed off on? Plus, isn't it a beautiful thing that we only have so much music from foregone artists to appreciate? If we can create endless albums for each artist beyond their passing, we'd remove the scarcity (and therefore desirability) of their music, ultimately creating a tragic ecosystem whereby the foregone greats of music are revered in a far more ephemeral way.
And the problems are even more severe when it comes to current artists. Currently, there is no copyright infringement in using an artist's voice, so it's essentially a free-for-all in which we've heard Drake singing "Crazy Frog", Dua Lipa reading the Lord's Prayer, and Homer Simpson delivering a rousing rendition of "7 Days" by Craig David. If and when laws are introduced, yet more ambiguity will appear in the world of rights-tracking; a facet of music that's already facing problems with the online world. Deepfakes, combined with modern music-making processes such as sampling and remixing, create a saturated space in which it becomes almost impossible to grapple onto some semblance of integrity in music.
What's the solution?
Deepfakes are undoubtedly a threat to music if done unethically, but how do we counteract the phenomenon before it's too late? Well, MatchTune may have just the solution. We've developed a technology that can pinpoint deepfake music with 99.9% accuracy, capable of confronting and combatting the technology that threatens our world's most adored art-form. Click here to learn more.