Joe Biden suggests he wants to “ban AI voice impersonation” – a win or loss for musicians?

The proposal follows a spate of robocalls using an AI voice clone of the President attempting to persuade people in New Hampshire not to vote.

When you purchase through affiliate links on, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more
Joe Biden

Credit: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Joe Biden has hinted at the possibility of making AI voice impersonation illegal, which could lead to both positive and negative consequences for music artists as a byproduct.

Per The Verge, the US President briefly brought up the topic during the State of the Union address last week (March 7) but didn’t expand much further on any potential proposals.

The idea is likely to have a mostly political purpose given that there was recently a spate of robocalls using an AI voice clone of the President attempting to dissuade people in New Hampshire from voting. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) subsequently issued a ban on such calls.

However, a total ban on AI voice impersonation would hold important ramifications for the arts and entertainment world. On one hand, artists could rest easy knowing the likeness of their voice isn’t being used for nefarious purposes, or as a way to earn money without fair compensation, but on the other, it could stifle creativity, and penalise those who use the technology fairly and give credit where it’s due.

Many musicians have been critical of the concept of AI impersonating their voices – Ariana Grande, for example, recently hit out at people attempting to recreate her voice using the technology, branding it “terrifying”.

In contrast, other artists have been more positive about the possibilities AI could bring to music, such as Damon Albarn, who said he was curious about the concept of posthumous AI releases following the success of The Beatles’ final song Now And Then, whose release was only made possible by the technology.

“It’s a question of scale: if enough people are interested, there could be hundreds of my songs released after my death, including songs that I would never have wanted to release,” he told Les Inrockuptibles. 

Grimes is another artist who has expressed particular openness towards the use of AI, saying last year that she thought it was “cool to be fused with a machine” and later launched AI software allowing users to mimic her voice in songs. Despite that, she recently performed a DJ set at an event calling for looser regulations of artificial intelligence, before telling the crowd that she is against “the sentiment of this party”.

Despite this, AI recreations of vocals have been continually doing the rounds on social media in recent years. One notable example was a song created by an artist named Ghostwriter977 called Heart On My Sleeve, featuring vocals which sounded like they were recorded by The Weeknd and Drake.


Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.

Join Our Mailing List & Get Exclusive DealsSign Up Now

The world’s leading media brand at the intersection of music and technology.

© 2024 MusicTech is part of NME Networks.