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Olivia Stock
7 July 2023, 14:38

Music using AI technology is now eligible for Grammy Award nomination

“Music that contains AI-created elements is eligible. ‘Period.’”

Graphic of a Grammy Award with a multicoloured base
Grammy Awards via Facebook

AI-created music is now eligible for nomination at the Grammy Awards, according to recent guideline changes.

Last month, The Recording Academy announced a series of changes to the prestigious awarding body in order to better reflect the evolving music industry. Amongst the newly instituted guidelines, protocols involving the use of artificial intelligence in popular music were adjusted to account for the rising popularity of AI-assisted art.

The addition to the rulebook initially sparked headlines due to the potentially ambiguous definition of AI collaboration, stating that “only human creators” can be nominated and furthermore, “a work that contains no human authorship is not eligible in any category.”

However, in a new interview with The Associated Press published on Tuesday (4th July), Recording Academy CEO, Harvey Mason Jr. offered more clarity on the guideline changes. “AI, or music that contains AI-created elements, is absolutely eligible for entry and for consideration for Grammy nomination. Period,” he said. “What’s not going to happen is we are not going to give a Grammy or Grammy nomination to the AI portion.”

“As long as the human is contributing in a more than de minimis amount, which to us means a meaningful way, they are and will always be considered for a nomination or a win,” he continued. “We don’t want to see technology replace human creativity. We want to make sure technology is enhancing, embellishing, or additive to human creativity. So that’s why we took this particular stand in this award cycle.”

Mr Mason Jr went on to explain that in a case where a track features an AI or voice modelling program performing the lead vocal, it would be eligible for nomination in a songwriting category, but not in a performance category, because “what is performing is not human creation.”

The Recording Academy has long considered adjusting the guidelines relating to AI following the rising popularity of songs created alongside AI technology, such as David Guetta’s ‘Emin-AI-em’, which saw the French superstar DJ utilise artificial intelligence software to replicate Eminem’s vocals.

The executive explained that the Recording Academy have undertaken extensive research in order to establish the new guidelines, including holding tech summits, and that AI conversations “really came to a head in the last six months.

It’s unclear whether tracks at least partially created with AI will be nominated for awards as early as next year, but as Mr Mason Jr affirmed, “people are using the technology. I’m imagining it’s going to be involved in a lot of records a lot of songs this year, so we’ll see if some of them get nominated or not, but I’m sure there’ll be some that will be submitted.”