British musician Sting has become the latest artist to voice concern over Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying we should be “wary” of the technology and that it will be a “battle we all have to fight.”
“The building blocks of music belong to us, to human beings,” Sting told the BBC in an interview Thursday.
“That’s going to be a battle we all have to fight in the next couple of years: Defending our human capital against AI,” he added.
Contentious debate over AI songs has arisen in the music industry over the last few months, with several high-profile figures being affected by the growth in the technology’s popularity.
Last month, a TikTok user claimed to have used AI to generate the voices of Drake and The Weeknd to create viral track “Heart on my Sleeve,” commenting online: “The future is here.”
In January, Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave said “dozens” of songs in his style had been created using ChatGPT, calling one attempt “a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human.”
But not all artists have shunned the technology.
French DJ and music producer David Guetta told CNN Business in March that he wants to “embrace” the technology – even though “there’s a little bit of an ethical problem” in regard to who owns the copyright of AI songs.
“I get immediately bored when I see a computer-generated image. I imagine I will feel the same way about AI making music,” said Sting.
“Maybe for electronic dance music, it works. But for songs, you know, expressing emotions, I don’t think I will be moved by it,” he added.
Universal Music Group, which represents Sting, likened AI music to “fraud” in an urgent letter sent to music streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music, in April.
“The tools are useful, but we have to be driving them,” Sting added in the interview. “I don’t think we can allow the machines to just take over. We have to be wary.”
The artist, whose original name is Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, will be given the highest honor bestowed by music association The Ivors Academy during an awards ceremony in London on Thursday.
The Golden Globes and Grammy awards winner, who is a former member of English rock band The Police, is best known for songs such as “Every Breath You Take” and “Message In A Bottle.”