Grammys CEO says music with AI-created elements is “absolutely eligible for entry”, so long as the human contributes in a “more than de minimis amount”

“We don’t want to see technology replace human creativity,” says Harvey Mason Jr.

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Grammy Awards

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Recent changes to the Grammy Awards’ guidelines has opened the door for AI-created music, and Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. is here to set the record straight for what exactly is – and isn’t – eligible for a nomination.

Per the new rules, “only human creators” will be awarded and perhaps more crucially, “a work that contains no human authorship is not eligible in any category.”

“Here’s the super easy, headline statement: AI, or music that contains AI-created elements, is absolutely eligible for entry and for consideration for Grammy nomination. Period,” Mason tells The Associated Press.  “What’s not going to happen is we are not going to give a Grammy or Grammy nomination to the AI portion.”

The executive explains that in the case where an AI or voice modelling program performs the lead vocal on a song, the track would be eligible in a songwriting category, but not a performance category, because “what is performing is not human creation”.

“Conversely, if a song was sung by an actual human in the studio, and they did all the performing, but AI wrote the lyric or the track, the song would not be eligible in a composition or a songwriting category.”

“As long as the human is contributing in a more than de minimis amount, which to us means a meaningful way, they are and will always be considered for a nomination or a win,” Mason says. “We don’t want to see technology replace human creativity. We want to make sure technology is enhancing, embellishing, or additive to human creativity. So that’s why we took this particular stand in this award cycle.”

Last month, we spoke to some of the music industry’s leaders to get their opinions on what AI mastering means for artists, engineers and music in general.


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