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YouTube Is to Flag AI-Generated Songs That Replicate Artists' Voices

YouTube is set to take action against AI-generated imitations of musicians, offering a feature to flag songs that mimic artists' voices.

Photo by Ana Flávia / Unsplash

YouTube is set to take action against AI-generated imitations of musicians, offering a feature to flag songs that mimic artists' voices. Creators will also be required to label AI-generated content beginning next year.

According to new guidelines, record companies can request the removal of content mimicking an artist's distinctive vocal style. YouTube plans to introduce a tool enabling music labels to identify and flag such content. The move comes as a response to the rise of AI-generated music resulting from advances in generative AI technology, which can produce text, images, music, and voice based on human prompts.

In their blog post, YouTube announced that it would pilot these controls with select labels and distributors before a broader release. This group is also engaged in early AI music experiments using generative AI tools for content creation.

YouTube states that the consequences for inaccurately labeling AI-generated content will range, potentially leading to takedowns and demonetization. According to YouTube's Malon, the platform is creating tools that can help identify and accurately figure out whether content creators have followed the rules regarding disclosing information about AI-content.

In addition to combating AI-generated music, YouTube will allow users to report deepfakes through a new privacy complaint process. The platform stated it would allow the removal of content simulating an identifiable individual, including their face or voice, though exceptions might be made for parodies or deepfakes involving public figures.

Channels producing AI-generated covers of both living and dead artists may face removal under YouTube's updated regulations as well. YouTube is making an exception for content that involves reporting, analysis, or critique of AI-made vocals. This exception is similar to the fair use defense, which allows the use of copyrighted material for purposes like criticism or commentary. However, it's uncertain how YouTube will respond if labels take legal actions against such content, especially in the context of music analysis and critique.

A label indicating AI-generated content will be added to a video's description section, with more prominent labels for content related to sensitive topics. AI-generated material violating existing content guidelines, such as synthetically created violent videos, will be removed.

Earlier this month, YouTube announced it might allow artists to lend their voices to creators, so that the latter could use real recording artists voices in their videos.