As artificial intelligence continues to take over our lives and threaten our very livelihoods, industries are increasingly freaking out—er, we mean seeking ways to ensure that new and emerging technology enhances humanity rather than making it obsolete. To that end, a coalition of 40+ groups, including the Artist Rights Alliance, ASCAP, the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), BMI, the NMPA, the RIAA, the Recording Academy and SoundExchange, have banded together on behalf of artists, writers, athletes and others with The Human Artistry Campaign, which launched 3/16 at SXSW.

The Austin event, “Welcome to the Machine: Art in the Age of AI,” introduced attendees to the campaign’s core principles. The HAC acknowledges the positive role AI can play—for instance, helping creatives find new ways to express themselves, amplifying fan connections, personalizing recommendations and identifying content quickly. However, it also emphasizes the absolute need for AI developers to comply with licensing and copyright laws, to fairly compensate creatives and allow them to retain creative control over anything they rightfully own and, of course, to prevent a singularity that would result in humans being consigned to robot-administered breeding farms.

Incidentally, for something centered on "Human" concerns, there's been some blowback in biz circles about how overwhelmingly male the representation has been on the project. In any case, let's rock some quotes!

“Artists and all creators are determined to lead on this issue and make sure we have a thoughtful, serious debate about both the risks and the benefits of AI," reads a quote from Music Artists Coalition Board Member Susan Genco. "And the time for that debate is now.”

"Incredible music originates from individuals," said NMPA boss David Israelite. "As we face growing AI capabilities, we as an industry are united around the fact that human artistry must be protected by strong copyright law and policy and that AI tools are developed in ways that do not undermine the value of songwriters’ work.”

"Artificial intelligence is a powerful, still-emerging technology that presents unique challenges as it matures in the creative arts space," added SoundExchange chief Michael Huppe. "We embrace the responsible use of AI, but recent advancements have underscored the need to develop consensus on responsible use and to address important intellectual property concerns. Our culture and our technology must respect the foundational role that all creators play in AI’s ultimate output."

"There is so much potential with AI," ventured Recording Academy ruler Harvey Mason Jr. "But it also presents risks to our creative community. It’s crucial that we get this right early on so we don’t risk losing the artistic magic that only humans can create."

Noting how AI could further exploit the already disenfranchised, BMAC co-founder and Co-Chair Willie “Prophet” Stiggers said, “Black songwriters, producers and artists already face an uphill battle for ownership, credit and proper payment in the music industry. Although AI can be an incredible tool, without the protection of real, human artistry, AI could devastate the Black creative community that leads so much of popular culture.”

(L-r) Genco, Israelite, Huppe, Mason, Stiggers, Glazier

A statement from the campaign amplifies such concerns, cautioning against any copyright exemptions or loopholes and pointing out, “Creators live on the forefront of, and are building and inspiring, evolutions in technology and as such need a seat at the table in any conversations about legislation, regulation or government priorities regarding AI that would impact their creativity and the way it affects their industry and livelihood.”

As RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier concluded, “Recent developments in AI are remarkable, but we have seen the costs before of rushing heedlessly forward without real thought or respect for law and rights. The Human Artistry Campaign's principles are designed to chart a healthy path for AI innovation that enhances and rewards human artistry, creativity and performance.”

To learn more or join the coalition, visit humanartistrycampaign.com or ping their robotic messaging system.

Or just tell Siri to do it for you.

In related news, a HITS editor tried to use his Roomba to clean his weed.

Robot photo: Nikita Popov