Finding the Right Note: ASCAP AI Initiatives

On June 13, 2023, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announced a series of initiatives to guide and protect creators as artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop and impact the music industry. ASCAP has a strong history of supporting artists, technological innovation and music royalties. Following in suit, ASCAP’s AI initiatives consist of a series of events and principles that seek to promote AI education, innovation and implementation in the music industry, and ensure that artists are justly compensated. The initiatives include the 2023 ASCAP Lab/NYC Media Lab Music and AI Challenge, the ASCAP Experience, the ASCAP AI Symposium, and ASCAPs AI Principles and Advocacy.

The ASCAP Experience 2023
The first event in ASCAP’s series of AI initiatives was a panel that took place during the ASCAP Experience 2023, on June 21. The “Intelligently Navigating Artificial Intelligence” panel featured Lucas Cantor, composer and ASCAP member, Rachel Lyske, CEO of musical composition AI company, DAACI, and Nicholas Lehman, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer of ASCAP. The panel provided a state-of-the union on AI and music. The panelists discussed AI’s potential to change the music industry, ASCAP’s approach to addressing opportunities and challenges posed by AI, and how artists can make informed decisions about using AI and protecting their intellectual property.

The 2023 Music AI Challenge
For the past three years, ASCAP Lab has partnered with the NYC Media Lab to explore new technologies. This year, the two groups are putting on the 2023 ASCAP Lab Music and AI Challenge.

ASCAP Lab and NYC Media Lab selected five teams to compete in the 12-week-long challenge. Each team is a cutting-edge platform or company at the intersection of music and AI. The teams will receive grants and mentorship as they continue to develop their technologies during the challenge. Throughout the process, the teams will share their stories and progress with ASCAP members. This will allow ASCAP to work closely with the AI tech community and help guide AI development for the benefit of music creators.

The ASCAP AI Symposium
On July 19, ASCAP will host a half-day symposium on AI. The symposium is open to ASCAP members and will explore emerging opportunities and issues stemming from the application of AI in the music industry.

ASCAP AI Principles and Advocacy
The ASCAP Board of Directors has announced a set of principles that will guide ASCAP’s response to AI and policy-making efforts. The principles include the following:

  • prioritizing rights and compensation for human creativity,
  • transparency in identifying AI vs. human-generated works and retaining metadata,
  • requiring artists’ consent when including music in AI training licenses,
  • artist compensation and a free market model,
  • crediting artists when their works are used to produce AI-generated music, and
  • global consistency in valuing intellectual property.

These principles, along with the other initiatives adopted by ASCAP, highlight the organizations’ ongoing efforts to promote and protect artists while embracing new technologies and opportunities in the music industry.