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Timbaland Wants to Legitimize AI Music Featuring Late Legends
After making an AI-assisted track featuring The Notorious B.I.G., producer Timbaland now plans to start an artificial intelligence music venture using the vocals of deceased artists.
Timbaland plans to give deceased artists new fame with artificial intelligence-assisted software. The Virginia-raised producer, who last made headlines for his song featuring posthumous vocals from The Notorious B.I.G., recently spoke to Forbes about his intention for the software, which will use AI voice filters to allow an up-and-coming artist to assume the voice of a late (or living) established act.
“It’s going to really be a new way of creating and a new way of generating money with less costs,” Timbaland, legal name Timothy Mosley, told Forbes. “I’m already here. This is what I’m doing. I’m going to lead the way.”
With multiple low-grade AI voice-emulated tracks, like "Heart on My Sleeve" or Eminem rapping about cats, drawing significant attention this year, Timbaland feels that the industry and consumers need to see a more serious, well-intentioned, and transparent effort to integrate the software.
“I don’t want to be afraid of what’s going on,” he told Forbes. “I want to be the guy to figure out a solution.”
While the music industry continues to tackle legal ramifications on copyright and revenue-sharing based on AI-generated music, Mosley shared that the new technology could benefit the estates of deceased artists. Made by Miami-based company Light Energy Labs with software programmer and music producer Zayd “Creatrgod” Portillo, the AI-voice filter product has not yet been named, but its technology has been refined over the last two years.
“I don’t want to be afraid of what’s going on,” Mosley said. “I want to be the guy to figure out a solution.”
While Mosley says that The Notorious B.I.G. track will not be released without permission from the late rapper’s estate, the artist behind Biggie’s voice was Michael S. Wilson II, also known as The Mike Wilson. Wilson shared his openness to voicing other artists once Mosley’s startup and the AI-music model become authorized.
“It’s not something that I’m opposed to,” Wilson told Forbes. “I wouldn’t want to be known solely for it, of course.”
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