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Tennessee is the first US state to pass legislation shielding musicians from AI.

Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee signed a bill into law on Thursday that sought to shield creatives, including musicians, against artificial intelligence’s improper usage.

The Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act is the name of the legislation.
Though artificial intelligence (AI) has been used in music production since the 1950s, the industry is divided over the current, revolutionary developments in generative AI, which have led to robots performing songs like digital pop stars. AI, according to many experts, creates ethical and legal questions.

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) gained popularity last year thanks to the ChatGPT language system. While AI can produce fresh sounds, lyrics, or whole songs, artists usually utilize more basic AI to improve their sound.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, “protections for songwriters, performers, and music industry professionals’ voice from the misuse of artificial intelligence” are included in the Tennessee Act, which updates Tennessee’s personal rights protection law.

The governor’s office reports that Tennessee’s music sector fills over 4,500 music venues, sustains over 61,617 jobs statewide, and adds $5.8 billion to the state’s GDP.

The previous legislation in Tennessee protected likeness, name, and image, but it did not address new, personalized generative AI cloning models and services that allow users to create unauthorized phony works in the voice and image of others and enable human impersonation.

More generally, the advent of AI has stoked a number of other worries, such as the worry that technology might be used to undermine democracy, increase fraud, or cause job losses. Legislators in Europe are creating regulations pertaining to AI, putting them ahead of those in the US.

A divided U.S. Congress, with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives and Democrats controlling the Senate, has made little progress in enacting meaningful legislation despite the Democratic administration of U.S. President Joe Biden pressuring lawmakers for AI regulation.

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