AI in music is not Grammy-worthy, but is allowed in Grammy nominations

Confused by the title? Here’s an example. A Grammy-nominated song contains AI-generated lyrics. The nomination is accepted, but cannot win a songwriter award. However, it is eligible for a performance award (if a human did the singing).

This bureaucratic adroitness has been established by Harvey Mason Jr., CEO/President of The Recording Academy which runs the Grammy awards program. The basic rule is this: Music which contains AI-created elements can still win awards for human-created elements. 

“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,” Mason stated. We anticipate that de minimus amount will be vulnerable to argument and hair-splitting, but establishing a basic acceptance of AI in the creative toolbox seems prudent.

The Recording Academy’s poisition statement does not cover forms of AI misuse, such as fraudulent distribution of music featuring the cloned voice of a music celebrity. Examples of that chicanery have been deleted by streaming music services, and would probably be disqualified from Grammy consideration.

Brad Hill