March 27, 2024
Tennessee, First State to Protect Musicians from AI
AI

Tennessee: First State to Protect Musicians from AI

Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee signed the Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act into law on Thursday, aiming to safeguard artists, including musicians, from unauthorized exploitation by artificial intelligence (AI).

While AI’s involvement in music dates back to the 1950s, recent advancements, particularly in generative AI, have sparked debates within the industry. Generative AI, exemplified by systems like ChatGPT, can autonomously create content, including original sounds, lyrics, or entire songs, leading to legal and ethical concerns.

The legislation updates Tennessee’s personal rights protection law to extend safeguards to “songwriters, performers, and music industry professionals’ voice from the misuse of artificial intelligence,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Protecting Tennessee’s Music Industry

Tennessee’s music sector is a significant contributor to the state’s economy, supporting over 61,617 jobs and contributing $5.8 billion to the gross domestic product. The legislation addresses the need to protect against new forms of AI misuse, particularly personalized generative AI cloning models that facilitate human impersonation and unauthorized creation of content in the likeness and voice of others.

The existing law in Tennessee covered protection for name, image, and likeness but did not specifically address the emerging challenges posed by AI-generated content. This legislation fills that gap by introducing measures to safeguard artists and industry professionals from exploitation.

Broader Concerns Surrounding AI

Beyond the music industry, the proliferation of AI has raised various concerns, including its potential to disrupt democratic processes, increase fraudulent activities, and lead to job displacement. While Europe has made strides in regulating AI, the United States has made limited progress due to political polarization.

President Joe Biden’s administration has advocated for AI regulation, recognizing the need for comprehensive guidelines. However, the divided nature of the U.S. Congress has hindered significant advancements in passing effective regulations to address the challenges posed by AI’s rapid development.

Image by freepik

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