YouTube Is Creating an AI Tool That Allows People to Sound Like Popular Artists

YouTube has given the green light on a new artificial intelligence tool that allows people to sound like their favorite recording artists.

According to a report from Billboard, the tool will give users the ability to make videos while using the voices of popular musicians. However, the tool’s beta launch has been hit with a snag since record companies are taking their time striking a deal with YouTube.

The AI tool is designed to have a select group of artists permit creators to use their voices in their creations and release the content to the public. YouTube is also giving those select recording artists the ability to input ideas to make the company’s AI strategy run more efficiently. 

The popular video streaming app initially wanted to debut the new product during its Made On YouTube event in September. However, major labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group are still working through licensing deals with YouTube that will cover the rights to an artist’s voice.

Some bigtime music executives are embracing AI technology, such as UMG CEO Lucian Grainge, who said the tech can give the ability to “amplify human imagination and enrich musical creativity in extraordinary new ways” and WMG CEO Robert Kyncl, who also said, “You have to embrace the technology, because it’s not like you can put technology in a bottle.”

However, there are others who fear giving up their leverage in these deals, as well as the challenge of getting popular artists to sign off on the tool when a creator could use their voice on something they do not like.

UMG recently pulled the plug on a track titled “Heart On My Sleeve” that used AI-generated voices of Drake and The Weeknd. The song grew in popularity on social media but was soon taken down due to copyright infringement.