the Grammys on standby in the face of AI

the Grammys on standby in the face of AI
the Grammys on standby in the face of AI

The Recording Academy, the body behind the prestigious Grammy Awards, recently announced an ambitious initiative to expand its influence in Africa and the Middle East.

On June 11, 2024, the Academy signed key partnerships with several African countries, including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Ghana. These collaborations aim to develop educational programs for local artists, promote the emerging music scene and strengthen copyright rights.

Africa: a pool of musical talent

Africa is now recognized as an inexhaustible pool of musical talent. Genres like Afrobeats, which mixes English and Yoruba influences, are enjoying worldwide success.

Collaborations between African and American artists are increasing, drawing international attention to the continent’s creative crucibles. The Nigerian label Marvin Records, for example, recently sold part of its rights to Universal Music, illustrating the growing interest in African music.

« Our expansion efforts in these fast-growing regions reflect our commitment to fostering the emergence of a truly global music community,” said Recording Academy President Panos A. Panay. This multi-issue strategy highlights African talents on the international stage, thus strengthening the overall dynamic of the Grammy Awards.

« The Recording Academy is accelerating its efforts to serve music professionals around the world, and Africa is ready to welcome them with open arms,” declared Angélique Kidjo, Beninese artist and winner of five Grammy Awards.

Read also : Tyla: The new star of African music shines at the Grammy Awards

A new issue: the limitation of AI in musical works

Along with its expansion, the Recording Academy has decided to restrict the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in works competing for a Grammy. On June 16, 2023, the Academy updated its eligibility criteria, stipulating that only authentically human creations are eligible for nomination.

« Only authentically human creations can qualify for a Grammy nomination,” says the Recording Academy. This decision comes at a time when AI technology is causing growing concern among creators. Although AI is not completely banned, its use must remain in the minority and human intervention predominant, especially in categories dedicated to songwriting.

Read also : AI in Africa: silent revolution or ticking time bomb?

The proliferation of AI and its consequences

Since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, AI systems have grown exponentially. Capable of imitating the human voice, writing scripts and much more, these versatile tools have transformed the music and audiovisual industry. However, they also generate concerns about copyright, misuse, and threats to human employment.

This last point is particularly worrying in the American film industry, currently paralyzed by a screenwriters’ strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). They fear that the growing use of AI by studios and streaming platforms threatens their jobs.

A balance to find

As the Recording Academy expands its influence and protects the integrity of musical works, it must balance technological innovation with the preservation of human creativity. By supporting African artists and regulating the use of AI, the Academy seeks to promote an authentic and diverse music scene. Africa, with its immense artistic potential, could well become a key player in this new musical era, while navigating the challenges posed by the technological revolution.

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