Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to raise questions about the creative process in entertainment. This summer, the Recording Academy updated the Grammy Awards rules and guidelines for the 66th Grammy Awards. AI factored prominently in some of the changes in the rules and guidelines.
In an exclusive interview with The Washington Informer, Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said he has been looking closely at AI during the past year.
“It’s something that I’ve witnessed through my time in studios and as I continue to create work with music makers,” said Mason. “I see AI being deployed, so it’s always been on my mind.”
Mason said the internal process for looking at AI began when Ruby Marchand, chief awards and industry officer for the Recording Academy, got the ball rolling in late spring.
“It was the awards team, the people from membership, and our in-house counsel that came together,” continued Mason. “We ultimately held a roundtable-like summit where we invited industry leaders, artists, producers, labels, streamers, lawyers, and legislators. There were a lot of conversations with different people. This is something on which we have been intentional.”
How the Grammys View AI
Mason reported, with the new policies, the Recording Academy will allow AI music and content to be submitted for consideration.
“If there is an AI voice singing the song or AI instrumentation, we’ll consider it. But in a songwriting-based category, it must be written mostly by a human,” Mason said. “The same goes for performance categories, where only a human performer can be considered for a Grammy. The guidelines further explain that if AI did the songwriting or created the music, that’s a different consideration. But the Grammy will go to human creators at this point.”
Protecting Human Creators
The Recording Academy ensures it will not be closed-minded to technology but does understand its AI policy affects many aspects of the creative process. Mason shared several questions the Recording Academy is constantly reviewing.
“We stand strong on making sure we are protecting human creators. How do we use technology to enhance what it is we do?” Mason said. “How do we make sure there are guardrails in place to make sure there is equitable and fair treatment? How do we make sure we’re not closed off to advancements? That’s the juggling act we are all facing.
Stay Tuned for the Awards
Nominations for the 66th annual Grammy Awards will be announced on Nov. 10. The Grammys will air on Feb. 4, 2024, from Los Angeles. For more information on the Grammy rules and guidelines, visit recordingacademy.com.