“AI is better than humans at many things but feels no emotions”: Silk Road Communications’ Achille Forler

“AI is better than humans at many things but feels no emotions”: Silk Road Communications’ Achille Forler

AI-generated works can never qualify for copyright protection.

Achille Forler

Mumbai: On 5 December 2023, the International Music Creators Seminar was organised by the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) in collaboration with CISAC and the Asia Pacific Music Creators Alliance (APMA). The seminar comprised informative panel discussions, each focused on delving into various aspects of the music industry. Particularly, the inaugural panel centered on the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on the music industry.

On the sidelines of the event, Indiantelevision.com caught up with music industry veteran and Silk Road Communications founder Achille Forler, to gain valuable insights on the topic…

Edited Excerpts:

On the use of AI causing a potential threat to the music industry and artists’ creative processes, with the rising use of AI tools to make dubbed versions of a song in different artists or people’s voices

Any technology, be it atoms or bioengineering, can be applied for good or bad. Deepfaking, impersonation, and plagiarism are the negative aspects of AI. They pose a greater risk to music creators than piracy ever did.

We are at the very beginning of the revolution, but now is the time to ensure its developments occur within the boundaries of the common good. Copyright protects an original expression of a self. AI-generated works can never qualify for copyright protection. It is a good time to ask ourselves, what is a human being? How can technology prove that a creation has a human, and not AI, origin? We must create tools that will fingerprint human creations and filter out AI productions. A working group has been set up on this topic by IPRS and some sister societies.

On the steps that regulatory bodies like IPRS should take to shape the guidelines for the ethical and legal use of AI in music composition and production

The good news is that creators have taken up the issue. The International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC), representing five million creators worldwide, and of which IPRS is a member, is very clear on AI and its potential to work for or against creativity. It has proposed guidelines to be followed. https://bit.ly/4a2VCsp WIPO also has a comprehensive page on AI and intellectual property in general: https://bit.ly/484ZXtf

A significant portion of the Conference on Asia-Pacific Collective Management Organizations, which IPRS organised in Jaipur, was focused on this subject.

On the positives of AI that you see

Music is born of deep emotions. AI is better than humans at many things but feels no emotions. It can write poems about love but never pined for the beloved, felt the fire of love tingle through its bones, or suffered a heartbreak. On the other hand, we can already see how AI can help Copyright Societies increase compliance by users, improve their collection capacity through smarter licensing, collect royalties that are impossible to collect today, and speed up the distribution of these monies to music creators.

I already use AI tools on my music licensing platform, SyncMama, to help clients find the right tracks for their videos within minutes simply by uploading a reference track or pasting a YouTube link. We released version two of this audio similarity search tool, Maya. The next version will enable search by prompts like.

We experiment with the use of prompts, but they have a learning curve because they require more precision—and more attempts—before you find what you’re looking for.

Our top priority today is video preview. You upload your video on SyncMama and add a track of your choice. Maya analyses the video and matches the audio track to the video by giving you up to three edit options. If the selected audio section is one or two seconds longer or shorter than the video, Maya will time-stretch the audio to fit exactly your video. Click download, and your video will be ready for broadcast.

We believe that AI tools like these will greatly facilitate the work of promo producers, advertising agencies, and anyone who needs music for their videos.

On the music industry better supporting and nurturing the growth of amateur talents who are just beginning their journey, ensuring they have opportunities to shine and develop their unique voices

Budding talent needs a helping hand. The report on music publishing released last week by E&Y shows that the economic value of music to corporate users is at least 12,000 crores. What value would radio, television, films, or games have without music? If corporate users of music were to carry out their legal duty to pay the IPRS, that money would go a long way to nurture and support new talent.

On ensuring that artists remain at the forefront of decision-making processes to safeguard their interests and maintain the spirit of artistic expression, in a world increasingly influenced by AI

The answer is in this video:

SyncMama Valentine