YouTube Unveils AI-Powered Dream Track Program Mimicking Artists’ Voices

YouTube has rolled out a program in collaboration with Google’s DeepMind Artificial Intelligence development lab called Dream Track, which can create a 30-second song clip from user-generated prompts and mimics certain artists’ vocals. Dream Track exists exclusively in YouTube Shorts at the moment, but the program poses certain ethical questions that will likely be addressed in the future if it is developed on a larger scale.

Videos by American Songwriter

Nine artists have signed on with YouTube to have their voices used in these experimental AI-generated clips—Demi Lovato, John Legend, Charlie Puth, Charli XCX, Alec Benjamin, Papoose, Sia, T-Pain, and Troye Sivan. According to the announcement on the YouTube blog, a small pool of creators will have the opportunity to craft these 30-second clips by entering keywords and ideas into the prompt and choosing one of the participating artists. The clip will then be generated and available for use in their Shorts.

[RELATED: Could This Drake-Inspired AI-Generated Song Possibly Be Eligible for a Grammy?]

The goal of Dream Track is to eventually foster deeper connections between artists, creators, and fans. By allowing fans to create songs in the style of their favorite artist but infuse them with their own ideas, YouTube could possibly usher in a new era of music development, altering the music industry landscape as we know it.

Here is where those ethical questions come in. Should there be boundaries and regulations on this sort of thing? Some hypotheticals of concern are the potential to use another person’s voice to express opinions those musicians most likely do not share or putting harmful content into the world in the voice of T-Pain or Charlie Puth. There are also artistry concerns that come up as well. What we understand to be Artificial Intelligence may be on the cutting edge of technology, but with the human element reduced from the artistic process, its musical offerings usually reflect that fatal flaw.

As far as regulations go, YouTube is apparently implementing responsible AI guidelines while developing this program, which includes updating its Community Guidelines and employing clear categories, labels, and disclosures for AI-generated content.

“The potential of AI is incredibly exciting,” YouTube head of music Lyor Cohen stated in a video about the new possibilities. “But with any new technology, we have to approach it responsibly and that’s not lost on us. It starts by recognizing that artificial intelligence is meant to amplify human creativity — not replace it.”

Listen to a sample of the new Dream Track technology below, where two sample clips were created in the style of T-Pain and Charlie Puth.

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Christian Siriano

Leave a Reply

Strange Bedfellows: The 5 Unlikeliest Duets in ’70s and ’80s Pop