Grammy Awards Classified Music Created Entirely by AI Ineligible
The Recording Academy modifies Grammy Awards guidelines to define AI's eligibility and human authorship criteria.
Amid the growing prominence of generative AI in music, the Recording Academy has revised its regulations for the 66th annual Grammy Awards to clarify the role of AI in considered works, as reported by Reuters.
To qualify for a Grammy award, a song must exhibit meaningful human authorship, making purely algorithmically generated music ineligible for recognition. The 66th Grammy Awards Rules & Guidelines booklet explicitly states that works generated solely by AI are not eligible for consideration. However, the Academy acknowledges the potential role of AI in the creative process to some extent.
According to the booklet, works that incorporate elements of "AI-generated material" can be eligible if they meet two crucial criteria:
The human-authored components must hold significance beyond being "de minimis," which refers to elements lacking significance or importance, or those of such minor nature that they can be disregarded.
These human-authored components should be relevant to the category in which the work is entered. For instance, if a song is submitted in a songwriting category, substantial human authorship is required in the music and/or lyrics. Similarly, for a performance category, the human performance element must be significant.
Furthermore, the rules clarify that if a piece of work includes AI-generated material, the individuals or teams responsible for programming or operating the AI cannot be considered for a Grammy award solely based on that contribution. In other words, those who created or utilised the AI do not receive credit for Grammy consideration in relation to the specific AI-generated part. The credit and potential for nomination or award are attributed to the human elements that significantly contribute to the song.
The landscape of AI in music encompasses various forms. Notably, AI models that can generate complete audio compositions from textual descriptions, such as Riffusion, MusicLM from Google and the recently announced MusicGen from Meta, have seen significant progress over the past year. However, songs created exclusively using these tools, assuming they meet the required standards, would not qualify for a Grammy award.
On the other hand, instances where AI is used by artists like The Beatles to remaster songs or extract vocals from demo tapes for inclusion in a "final" Beatles track might still be eligible for Grammy consideration in most categories. In such cases, the AI is limited to audio processing rather than generating a composition or performance from scratch.
The use of generative AI tools, such as vocal generators in songs, falls somewhere in between. In these scenarios, an AI "vocalist" cannot win an award in categories dedicated to vocal performances. However, if the song comprises substantial human creative elements, it could potentially win in other categories that recognise human contributions, even with an AI vocal track.
As AI emerges as a creative yet contentious tool in the arts, the introduction of Grammy rules stands as a significant declaration about the music industry's emphasis on human creativity. Although generative AI may eventually possess the capacity to create impressive compositions, the Grammy stage primarily remains reserved for human artists—at least for now.
In a light-hearted response, an "Al" (like "Alfred") star humorously commented on the new rules via Twitter.
The Recording Academy has updated the Grammy Awards rules to address the role of AI in music creation.
Songs purely generated by AI are ineligible for Grammy consideration.
Works incorporating "AI-generated material" are eligible if they meet specific human authorship criteria and relevance to the category.
Individuals or teams involved in programming or operating AI do not receive Grammy credit solely based on that contribution.