New journal article on the ethics and politics of Music AI

My latest article has been published at TISMIR and can be accessed for free at this link. In the The article touches on increase in artistic surplus population, decrease in creative labour cost and tacit acceptance of neo-colonial practices. I also reflect on the ideological substrate guiding research in AI-music and invite AI researchers to take ownership of the responsibility for their work.

Where Does the Buck Stop? Ethical and Political Issues with AI in Music Creation

AI applications for music creation have been available since the last century but, until recently, their adoption has been limited to a small niche of researchers and engineers and their ontology limited to experimentation in computational creativity. The ongoing transformation of the music industry, the increasing injection of capital into AI-music companies, and the technical advancements in AI are in the process of expanding this niche and shifting the ontology of these applications. This expansion and ontological shift raise several ethical and political issues that this article sets out to explore. I contextualise the ideological substrate currently guiding mainstream research in commercial AI-generated music and identify two urgent issues caused by this research. First, the inevitable increase in the artistic surplus population and decrease in creative labour cost; second, the tacit acceptance of neo-colonial practices based on the exploitation of existing music and listeners’ preferences. I propose that these issues should be discussed and addressed by the creators of these technologies, and I suggest an ethical and epistemological turn for MIR research.