YouTube Begins AI Experiment That Lets Creators Use Voice Clones of Major Artists
YouTube Shorts this week launched Dream Track, a new feature using AI (artificial intelligence) that gives users the ability to make music with the artificially generated vocals of several prominent artists, as Rolling Stone reported. It's being first rolled out to only a select group of users.
Is creating new songs using the replicated voice of a singer or band the future of listening? Though no hard rock or heavy metal artists are yet involved, YouTube has rounded up major pop singers such as Demi Lovato and John Legend to help launch Dream Track with their AI-generated vocals.
Watch a YouTube video introduction about Dream Track down toward the bottom of this post.
"At this initial phase," YouTube explains in a Nov. 16 blog post, "the experiment is designed to help explore how the technology could be used to create deeper connections between artists and creators, and ultimately, their fans."
It continues, "Starting today, nine artists including Alec Benjamin, Charlie Puth, Charli XCX, Demi Lovato, John Legend, Papoose, Sia, T-Pain, and Troye Sivan who have chosen to collaborate in this experiment and work with us to shape the future of AI in music, are giving a small group of select U.S. creators the chance to create unique soundtracks of up to 30 seconds for their Shorts."
How does it work? "By simply typing an idea into the creation prompt and selecting a participating artist that appears in the carousel, an original Shorts soundtrack featuring the AI-generated voice of that artist will be produced for the creator to use in their Short," YouTube touts of Dream Track.
YouTube: An Early Look at the Possibilities as We Experiment with AI + Music
AI-generated vocals by major artists have already been making headway on the internet, though usually officially unsanctioned. At this point, we're already able to hear something like Megadeth's Dave Mustaine singing Metallica's "Master of Puppets." Should major artists get onboard with AI in order to fight unauthorized dupes?
Should We Voice Replicate Artists?
What about the legal and ethical implications, especially for the artist who supplies the voice? Last year, an AI-generated rap song replicating Drake and The Weeknd, "heart on my sleeve," went viral before it was removed from streaming services for being unauthorized. YouTube, however, wants to work in tandem with approving artists.
"That's why we developed a set of AI Music principles and a Music AI incubator published earlier this year that are rooted in responsible collaboration," YouTube says. "Since then, we've been exploring the possibilities of how AI can empower creativity alongside artists, songwriters, producers and our partners while also identifying its challenges."
YouTube: Introducing Dream Track
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Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita