An AI-generated JAY-Z verse that has gone viral has sparked concern from Young Guru, 9th Wonder and DJ Clark Kent, with Guru calling for the government to intervene.
Hov’s esteemed engineer shared the digitally-generated vocals on his Instagram page on Friday (March 31), which sound almost indistinguishable to the Roc Nation mogul. That was enough for Guru to sound the alarm bells for where AI is heading.
“I’ve been trying to tell everyone that this is where we are now with AI. For some reason this one got everyone’s attention. So what do we do. On one hand I’m well aware that you can’t stop technology. Once the genie is out of the box you can put him back in,” Guru wrote.
“On the other hand we have to protect the rights of the artist. Not only artist but everyone in society. People should not be able to take your Name, Image and Likeness without permission. We have to add the voice to this law.
He continued: “We have to learn from past mistakes. You would be a fool to chase every person that is going to do this. We learned that lesson with Napster. The only way I see to deal with it is to change the law. There are so many different opinions. We could change the United States law tomorrow but the internet is world wide. What a time we live in!!”
9th Wonder and DJ Clark Kent echoed Guru’s sentiment in the comments section, with the former commenting: “My God” and the latter writing: “This is terrible.”
Hi-Tek, Peter Gunz, Mysonne, Peter Rosenberg and others also expressed discomfort at the idea of AI technology cloning rappers’ voices.
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This isn’t the first time Young Guru has raised concerns about the rise of AI in the music industry. The 49-year-old issued an ominous warning about the trend last month after stumbling on a video of a man using AI to make his voice sound like Kendrick Lamar and recording a song in the style of the Compton rap star.
“This has dominated my Howard group chat for a couple days,” Guru wrote at the time. “Ok I’m at the point where I can voice my concerns with our current state of AI. I have followed as many versions of what AI could do for some years now.
“I remember being at MIT and students showing me a project where they were actively feeding a computer ‘All’ the jazz records that ever existed. So that AI could analyze and create music in any style of any musician.”
He continued: “I didn’t think we would get here this fast with the voice. Of course my mind goes to the ethical and legal aspects of what can be done with programs like Tacotron 2. You add that to the power of ChatGPT and you realize we are in a very groundbreaking but dangerous moment. It’s not the tech, it’s the evil that men do with the tech.”
Artificial intelligence has become more prevalent in Hip Hop in recent years. Kendrick Lamar used deepfake technology in his Grammy-nominated “The Heart Part 5” music video, while a virtual rapper named FN Meka even earned a major label deal last year.