human artistry campaign

How the Human Artistry Campaign is defending human creativity in the AI debate

The coalition comprises of over 70 members, including PRS for Music

  • 28 Jun 2023
  • min read

Across the arts, artificial intelligence is being discussed as the greatest risk to creatives careers. Perhaps no more so than in the music industry, where questions on how it could impact music creators’ livelihoods and the craft of song writing are rife. At PRS for Music’s most recent Members’ Day in London, the topic came up throughout panels and Q&As. It seems everyone's asking, what does the future look like for AI and creator's rights?

The Human Artistry campaign is a body that was created to ensure that the future of AI in the creative sectors looks positive for creators. Launched earlier this year at SXSW in Austin, Texas, the campaign mobilised to ensure rapidly developing artificial intelligence technologies are developed and used in ways that support human culture and artistry, not in ways that replace or erode it.

PRS for Music was one of the first to join, highlighting how the royalty collection society is dedicated to helping set the agenda and establishing the direction AI could take in music, ensuring the rights of songwriters and composers are prioritised and championed.

‘We really need to reinforce the importance of licensing to government and to those AI systems,’ Ali Condon, PRS for Music’s head of policy and public affairs, emphasises. ‘Music isn’t data, it’s not a bunch of numbers to be crunched to find patterns and advance science. It’s human expression.

‘The music industry has a history of creating licensing solutions,’ she adds. ‘We want to work closely with the market to make sure creators aren’t cut out of the value chain. PRS will do everything it can to make sure we end up with a solution that is as positive for creators as possible.'

Creators aren’t waiting to be invited to the table, the Human Artistry Campaign is keen to highlight. 'We are claiming our seat and speaking up now, while there is time to work together with tech to ensure AI is trained and deployed in ways that follow all relevant laws and respect creators’ and performers’ rights,’ the coalition explained.

Seven core principles underpin the Human Artistry Campaign and how they think AI should be applied to support creativity. 

Technology has long empowered human expression and AI will be no different

From guitar pedals to synthesizers, digital audio workstations to beat libraries, technology and music have always worked hand-in-hand to amplify and enhance music creator’s creativity. AI can be another tool for this process and could also help to hone personalised recommendations, see music reach wider audiences and improve the payment landscape.

Human created works will continue to play an essential role in our lives 

Creativity is fundamental to humanity and only humans can fully realise works that convey lived experience and emotions. Art cannot exist independent of humanity and its culture.

Use of copyrighted works and the use of voices and likenesses or professional performers requires authorisation and free market licensing from all rightsholders

Creators and copyright owners must retain exclusive control over determining how their content is used. AI developers must ensure any content used for training purposes is approved and licensed from the copyright owner, including content previously used by any pre-trained AIs they may adopt.

Governments should not create new copyright or other IP exemptions that allow AI developers to exploit creators without permission or compensation

Creating special shortcuts or legal loopholes for AI would harm creative livelihoods, damage creators’ brands, and limit incentives to create and invest in new works.

Copyright should only protect the unique value of human intellectual creativity

Human creators, whether they use traditional tools or express their creativity using computers, are the foundation of the creative industries and we must ensure that human creators are paid for their work.

Trustworthiness and transparency are essential to the success of AI and protection of creators

Stakeholders should work collaboratively to develop standards for technologies that identify the input used to create AI-generated output. In addition to obtaining appropriate licenses, content generated solely by AI should be labelled describing all inputs and methodology used to create it -- informing consumer choices and protecting creators and rightsholders.

Creator’s interests must be represented in policymaking

Creators need a seat at the table in any conversations regarding legislation, regulation, or government priorities surrounding AI that would impact their creativity and the way it affects their industry and livelihood.

You can read more about the Human Artistry Campaign and sign their petition on their website.