A month after changes to the Grammy Awards sparked headlines, the Recording Academy’s CEO and president, Harvey Mason Jr., has spoken out.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Mason opened up about one of the modifications that triggered mixed emotions amongst entertainers. To reflect an evolving music industry, the Grammys revealed that “only human creators” could win the industry’s highest honor. The outlet mentioned that the decision is aimed at the use of artificial intelligence in popular music.
“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 told AP News. “What’s not going to happen is we are not going to give a Grammy or Grammy nomination to the AI portion.”
As an example, the Boston native shared that if an AI performed the lead vocal on a song, then the track would be eligible in a songwriting category. However, the single could not enter a performance category because “what is performing is not [a] human creation,” Mason explained. “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,” he continued. “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.”
To establish its AI guidelines, the Recording Academy did extensive research. “I’ve met with the copyright office. We’ve talked about the future and what that looks like on a federal level and the legislative level,” Mason said, noting that AI conversations “really came to a head in the last six months.” When asked about the possibilities of songs with AI nominated at the 2024 Grammys, the awards show CEO shared, “We’ll see if some of them get nominated or not. But I’m sure there’ll be some that will be submitted.”
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