July 21, 2024
AI's Impact on Creative Industries Sparks Controversy: UK Musicians and Artists Raise Concerns
Policy & Regulation

AI’s Impact on Creative Industries Sparks Controversy: UK Musicians and Artists Raise Concerns

A group of British MPs have issued a warning that AI developers must be prevented from utilizing free samples of music, literature, and artwork to train their models.

According to a recent assessment, the UK government has to “rebuild trust” with the creative industries and put in place protections to prevent the exploitation of their intellectual property for financial gain.

In a study issued late Tuesday, the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee—a bipartisan group of MPs that examines Rishi Sunak’s administration—raised a number of issues and asserted that the government’s program has “weaknesses.”

The organization, for instance, claimed that initial proposals to remove text and data mining from copyright protection demonstrate “a clear lack of understanding” of the creative economy, which generates $137 billion (£109 billion) annually and employs 2.3 million people.

The committee’s members continued by stating that in order to protect creators whose likeness or previously recorded performances are being utilized by generative AI without their permission, immediate action must be taken.

“All branches of government need to better understand the impact of AI and technology more broadly on the creative industries and be able to defend their interests consistently,” the MPs stated.

Those opposed to the government’s present strategy, such as UK Music and the Universal Music Group, have said that the proposed regulations as they stand would “green light music laundering” and result in “widespread and lasting harm.”

In the US, where studios are paying top cash for AI experts and performers and writers are on their first combined strike since 1960, the future dangers posed by AI are also a contentious issue.

Some news organizations are already taking action to prevent content scraping rather than waiting for regulation. The New York Times, Reuters, The Washington Post, and ABC News, among others, reportedly all implemented coding to prevent OpenAI’s web crawler, known as GPTBot, from reading their content, according to The Guardian and CNN.

The committee’s study does acknowledge that AI has the potential to revitalize the entertainment industry, so it is not entirely dismissive of the technology. It used ABBA Voyage, a virtual concert that included the Swedish pop group in their prime during the 1970s, as an example of success.

“The chorus of warnings from musicians, authors, and artists about the real and lasting harm of a failure to protect intellectual property in a world where the influence of AI is growing should be enough for ministers to sit up and take notice,” Caroline Dinenage, the committee’s chair and a Conservative Party member, commented in a press release.

She went on to demand that smaller AI developers receive more assistance in obtaining the required licenses to access creative works.

With audacious promises to invest over $100 million in an AI taskforce, Prime Minister Sunak earlier maintained a positive attitude toward the technology.

Image: Freepik

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