ASCAP CEO Says “AI Doesn’t Scare Us”

ASCAP CEO Says "AI Doesn't Scare Us"

ASCAP CEO Says “AI Doesn’t Scare Us”

ASCAP says it has a slate of AI initiatives in the pipeline to help music creators navigate the future while protecting their work. 

These newly announced initiatives include adoption of a key set of AI principles, creator education, and startup incubation and policy development. ASCAP says it plans to build upon the not-for-profit PRO track record of technology advances, industry advocacy, and music royalty growth. 

“ASCAP has been adapting to disruption for more than 100 years,” says ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews. “AI doesn’t scare us because we see technology as an opportunity to innovate for our songwriter, composer, and music publisher members. The future is bright and we have our helmets on to fight the fight to protect the rights of music creators.”

“As the only creator-first US PRO, ASCAP always places our members at the core of everything we do and listening to them informs our strategy,” adds ASCAP Chief Strategy & Digital Officer Nick Lehman. “Our members are telling us that they want ASCAP to help them navigate technology disruption, advocate for better regulation in AI and pursue compensation if their music is used in AI-generated content.”

Here’s a quick peek at some of the AI initiatives for 2023 in the ASCAP pipeline. 

The 2023 ASCAP Lab Music & AI Challenge is designed to identify creative, cutting-edge concepts at the intersection of music and artificial intelligence, enabling ASCAP to work closely with the tech community to help guide the development and application of this game-changing technology for the benefit of music creators.

Five teams have been selected to receive grants and mentorship to develop and expand upon their emerging technologies during the 12-week challenge. Here’s a peek at this year’s teams competing. 

DAACI is a comprehensive AI system that composes, arranges, orchestrates and produces authentic, high-quality and original music with emotional and narrative awareness—especially for composers for video games, the metaverse, digital worlds, and more.

Infinite Album uses AI to generate continuous copyright-safe video game music that can react to gameplay in real-time and can be customized by gamers and viewers in collaborative, interactive, and monetizable ways.

Overture Games builds video games for beginner musicians designed to make practicing more fun and reduce burnout/quitting by using AI-based pitch detection to provide responsive visual feedback based on the musician’s playing.

Samplifi combines classical digital signal processing techniques with the latest advances in AI to isolate and enhance the auditory information needed to harmonically orient oneself within a piece of music. It makes the sonic world easier to navigate for hearing-impaired musicians.

Sounds.Studio by Never Before Heard Sounds is a browser-based music production platform that leverages AI to make producing music faster and more accessible with assistive tools like stem splitting, vocal conversion, timbre transfer and automatic song alignment. 

ASCAP AI Principles and Advocacy

ASCAP remains at the forefront of policy making with respect to AI in the areas of copyright and licensing. The ASCAP Board of Directors has adopted a set of key principles guiding the organizations response to AI. These principles are:

  • Human Creators First | Prioritizing rights and compensation for human creativity.
  • Transparency | Identifying AI vs. Human Generated works and retaining metadata. 
  • Consent | Required to authorize works for inclusion in an AI training license.
  • Compensation | Willing buyer, willing seller licensing framework.
  • Credit | When creators’ works are utilized to produce new AI-generated music.
  • Global Consistency | An even playing field that values intellectual property globally.

ASCAP is working to ensure that its over 920,000 members are heard in DC policy debates, briefings and roundtables and will educate and mobilize its members to protect their musical contributions.



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