YouTube is Developing AI to Let You Sing Exactly Like Your Favorite Musician




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YouTube is reportedly developing a new artificial intelligence feature to make you sound like your favorite artists. 

The AI voice modifier works differently than a voice enhancer, which can auto-tune a singer to keep them in tune while sounding like themselves. YouTube’s feature, however, makes users sound nearly identical to the real deal, which has some music labels wary about releasing rights to specific songs and voices to train the AI tool, according to Bloomberg.

YouTube is building off a suite of new AI tools launched in September, which uses the technology to replace backgrounds in videos or automatically dub content into other languages. YouTube has already requested song rights from music companies to train its tool, but none have yet to sign an agreement, Bloomberg reported.

Using AI to impersonate or outright replace talent is a leading concern among actors, writers, and singers. The use of AI tech is in its early days, and many celebrities have already been vocal about the threat AI poses to their profession and personas. Deepfake videos are rising in popularity while frustrating the people whose likenesses they use, more often than not, without consent. Stephen Fry had his voice stolen from the Harry Potter audiobooks and used without his knowledge as the narration in a historical documentary.

This summer’s strikes in Hollywood show this is a serious issue that must be addressed and defined in legal circles to prevent people from having their identities stolen and used for purposes they otherwise wouldn’t agree to. Music labels are still recovering from decades of illegal downloads, making many hesitant to commit to developing AI tech that could easily swipe a musician’s entire collection.

YouTube is still working with record labels over the wording of such an agreement, said Bloomberg, which could feed into how such deals are conducted as AI develops further. In August, YouTube said it would continue exploring the boundaries of AI while preserving musician’s work

YouTube was not available for comment.

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