Embracing A.I.: Encouraging Musicians to Welcome the Future, According to Recording Academy CEO

**The Future of Music: A.I. as a Creative Amplifier**
Before becoming the CEO of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr. wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears. With his strong artistic background, Mason Jr. believes that A.I. will enhance, rather than replace, musicians. In a conversation at Fortune Brainstorm Tech, Mason Jr. stated that A.I. can serve as a creative amplifier, drawing parallels to the invention of the drum or flute. As the chief executive of the Recording Academy, his embrace of A.I. could shape the future of music.

**The Dual Nature of A.I.: Terrifying and Great**
Mason Jr. acknowledges the fearful and exciting aspects of A.I. He points to the song “Heart on My Sleeve” which features A.I. versions of rapper Drake and the Weeknd and gained millions of plays before being taken down due to copyright infringement. While consumers enjoy hearing their favorite artists, the possibility of A.I. contributing to music creation can be both interesting and scary. However, Mason Jr. identifies fear as the reason why creators are hesitant to embrace A.I., specifically citing concerns about replication without proper agreement, attribution, or compensation.

**Grimes and the Acceptance of A.I. Clones**
While many artists expressed opposition to digital duplication following the release of “Heart on My Sleeve,” singer Grimes embraced the idea of her A.I. clone, as long as she receives 50% royalties. In an April tweet, she stated that she would treat it as a collaboration with any other artist and would allow the use of her voice without penalty, as she has no label or legal bindings. This shows that there is potential for artists to embrace A.I. if their concerns are addressed.

**Harvey Mason Jr.’s Diverse Background**
As both an artist and an executive, Mason Jr. has had an extensive career in the music industry. He has served as a musical producer on films such as “Pitch Perfect 2,” “Get on Up,” and “Straight Outta Compton.” Additionally, he has written and produced songs for Jennifer Hudson and Whitney Houston. In May 2021, he became the CEO of the Recording Academy, the organization responsible for hosting the Grammy Awards and serving as a governing body in the music industry.

**Recognition of Digital Work and A.I. at the Grammy Awards**
Mason Jr. emphasized that digital work, including A.I., has never been excluded from the Grammy Awards. He expressed hope that more creators will experiment with A.I. and redefine human ownership of digital work. While the academy aims to celebrate human creativity, he finds it difficult to comprehend how a Grammy could be awarded to a computer.

Overall, Harvey Mason Jr.’s perspective highlights the potential of A.I. as a creative amplifier in the music industry. While acknowledging the concerns and challenges, he encourages artists and creators to embrace A.I. for the sake of innovation and exploring new possibilities in music creation.

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