Following a statement from Universal Music Group, released on Monday (4.17) condemning “infringing content created with generative AI,” a new collaboration believed to have featured computer-generated fake vocals from Drake and The Weeknd has since been removed most streaming platforms.
Released by an anonymous TikTok user named Ghostwriter977 and credited as Ghostwriter on steaming platforms, “Heart On My Sleeve” features eerily similar voices to the two superstar musicians – a product that the creator says was accomplished by using artificial intelligence.
By Monday afternoon, the fictitious collab had generated 600,000+ spins on Spotify, 15,000,000+ views on Ghostwriter977’s TikTok, and a YouTube video accumulated another 275,000 views with the caption “This is just the beginning.”
However short-lived, the massive success of “Heart On My Sleeve” will confirm ever-increasing concerns over the impact of AI on the music industry. Just last week, UMG urged streaming platforms to block AI companies from accessing the label’s songs to “train” their machines, and the RIAA has warned that doing so infringes copyrights on a mass scale. Last month, a large coalition of industry organizations warned that AI technology should not be used to “replace or erode” human artistry.
Though representatives for Drake and The Weeknd declined to comment on Monday, in a statement to Billboard, UMG said the viral postings “demonstrate why platforms have a fundamental legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in ways that harm artists,” adding:
“The training of generative AI using our artists’ music (which represents both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law) as well as the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs, begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on: the side of artists, fans and human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes, fraud and denying artists their due compensation.” “We’re encouraged by the engagement of our platform partners on these issues – as they recognize they need to be part of the solution.”