Published on November 17, 2023, 1:00 am

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YouTube has unveiled several new experimental AI services, one of which is called Dream Track in YouTube Shorts. This feature uses AI-generated versions of artists’ voices to create up to 30-second soundtracks. While some musicians have voiced concerns about the use of AI and their voices being used without permission or compensation, YouTube managed to secure the participation of nine prominent names in the music industry, including John Legend, Troye Sivan, CharliXCX, and T-Pain.

Originally intended to be announced at the Made on YouTube event in September, the introduction of Dream Track was delayed due to negotiations with recording companies regarding rights and payments. To access Dream Track, users simply need to type in an idea into the creation prompt and choose from one of the participating artists. The technology behind this feature is Google DeepMind’s Lyria, a powerful music generation model that allows users more control over the final product by producing high-quality vocals and instrumentals. Content produced through Lyria will also be marked with a SynthID watermark.

To inspire creators, YouTube has shared sample Dream Tracks created by Charlie Puth and T-Pain. Despite initial reservations about AI from some artists involved, there is hope that collaborative work can yield positive and non-exploitative opportunities. Singer CharliXCX stated her cautiousness towards AI but expressed interest in exploring its creative potential: “This experiment will offer a small insight into the creative opportunities that could be possible and I’m interested to see what comes out of it.”

In addition to Dream Track, YouTube is partnering with its Music AI Incubator to introduce Music AI Tools. These tools allow users to transform a hummed melody into guitar riffs or convert a pop track into a reggaeton anthem. Producer and songwriter Louis Bell has created a sample video showcasing these tools.

YouTube finds itself walking a fine line as it introduces AI tools while taking measures to prevent misuse. The platform recently implemented new policies for labeling videos created using AI and established a reporting system for public figures, such as musicians, to identify deepfakes.

Currently, Dream Track is only available to a select group of creators and artists. However, participants of the Music AI Incubator can look forward to testing out the tools later this year. As YouTube continues to explore the possibilities of generative AI in music creation, it aims to strike a balance between innovation and safeguarding against potential misuse.

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