Young Guru criticizes AI-generated Jay-Z: “People should not be able to take your name, image and likeness without permission”

Young Guru won a Grammy in 2019 for his work on Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s joint album, Everything Is Love

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Yung Guru

Image: Johnny Nunez / Getty

Producer and DJ Young Guru has spoken against an AI-generated fake verse which emulated the style of Jay-Z, expressing concerns for people taking the likeness of people’s art.

Young Guru won a Grammy Award in 2019 for Best Urban Contemporary Album for mixing Everything Is Love by The Carters – a joint project between husband and wife music icons Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

The producer had previously expressed concern over an AI-generated Kendrick Lamar voice emulation in a video on Instagram, and has now shared his thoughts on the viral AI verse in the style of Jay-Z.

He wrote in an Instagram post: “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. On the other hand, we have to protect the rights of the artist. Not only artist[s] but everyone in society.”

He continued, “People should not be able to take your name, image and likeness without permission. We have to add the voice to this law. 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!!”

Read his full post below:

In late March, over 1,000 technology leaders called for a pause on AI development in an open letter due to the “profound risks to society and humanity” it presents, including tech giant Elon Musk. The technology has grown exponentially over the last year, now with entire radio shows able to be powered entirely by AI.

Artists amongst Young Guru who are also cautious of the difficulties the tech may have on the music industry include Deadmau5 and even Nick Cave who called for AI to “fuck off” and “leave songwriting alone”.


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