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In age of AI, Canadians believe human artistry is essential to the creation of music

Findings released as the Government of Canada holds consultations on implications of generative AI for copyright.

The vast majority of Canadians (85%) believe that human artists are essential to the creation of music – that’s according to a new study from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) on attitudes toward Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

The research comes from the forthcoming Engaging with Music 2023, IFPI’s global report examining how fans around the world engage with, and feel about, music. This is the first year  the report includes a section dedicated to AI, as the technology’s rapid advancement continues to present both opportunities and challenges for the music business and for artists.  

The results overwhelmingly demonstrate that Canadians value authenticity in their music. And for those with an awareness of AI’s capabilities, the findings speak to a clear belief in the need for artist consent, credit and compensation. In fact, 79% of those Canadians think an artist’s music or vocals should not be used or ingested by AI without permission.

“Artificial intelligence is an exciting tool and one that, when used responsibly, can elevate creativity and help grow the creative industries. But, fundamentally, we believe that generative AI systems that ingest copyrighted music without authorization are stealing and profiting from the creations of human artists,” says Patrick Rogers, CEO, Music Canada. “We’re very pleased to see that the majority of Canadians agree with us.” 

The survey also found: 

  • 76% agree that AI should not be used to clone or impersonate music artists without authorization 
  • 77% agree that AI systems should clearly list which music has been ingested for training 
  • 85% believe that music generated solely by AI should be labeled as such 

As the Government of Canada is currently holding consultations on the implications of generative AI for copyright, these survey findings are particularly insightful. In fact, the survey found that of Canadians aware of AI’s capabilities, 75% believe there should be restrictions on what AI can do and 68% believe governments should play a role in setting those restrictions. 

Music Canada will submit feedback to the government on how Canada’s legislative frameworks could be updated to respond to the development and adoption of AI technologies. 

“We believe that any technology with the capability to clone or digitally reproduce a human’s voice, work or image without their consent has the potential to be detrimental to not only artists, but society as a whole,” says Rogers. “Music Canada is working to strengthen our policies and legal frameworks to better address these issues.”