Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, has stated that the music streaming platform has no plans to ban content created by artificial intelligence (AI).
While discussing the use of AI in music, Ek mentioned that AI should not be used to impersonate human artists without their consent.
He emphasized the importance of distinguishing between various applications of AI in music, categorizing them into three “buckets”:
- Tools like auto-tune enhance music, which he views as acceptable.
- Tools that mimic artists, which he believes should be restricted.
- A middle ground where AI-created music is influenced by existing artists but doesn’t directly impersonate them presents a challenging debate.
Although AI is not entirely banned on Spotify, the platform does not allow its content to be used for training machine learning or AI models to produce music.
Artists have been expressing concerns about the use of AI in the creative industries. Last month, musician Hozier voiced his concerns about the threat of AI to his profession and questioned whether it meets the definition of art.
Spotify removed a track earlier this year that featured the AI-cloned voices of Drake and The Weeknd. Neither of the artists was aware of their voices being used in the song, and the track was removed from Spotify and other streaming platforms.
Ek mentioned the challenges posed by users trying to manipulate the system, such as uploading songs falsely claiming to be from well-known artists like Madonna. Spotify has a large team working to address these issues.
The CEO also discussed Spotify’s significant investment in podcasts, including partnerships with high-profile figures like Michelle and Barack Obama and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He acknowledged that while some podcast ventures have been successful, others have not.
Additionally, Ek talked about the company’s stance on regulation, expressing support for the UK’s Online Safety Bill and the Digital Markets and Competition Bill, which aim to enhance internet safety for children and promote competition among tech giants.
He also addressed Spotify’s ongoing concerns about the policies of Apple and Google’s app stores, particularly the commission fees charged to developers.
Spotify has criticized these fees, claiming they significantly impact its revenue. In 2020, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple, alleging anticompetitive behavior, which led to a European Commission investigation.