Sting: Music will face ‘battle’ with AI in coming years

Sting, 71, spoke out about the rise of AI and said musicians should be wary of its dominance in the coming years  (PA Archive)
Sting, 71, spoke out about the rise of AI and said musicians should be wary of its dominance in the coming years (PA Archive)

Sting says musicians will face “a battle” with the rise of artificial intelligence and its use within the music industry.

The former frontman of The Police, 71, said the coming years would see a fight to defend the “human capital” of music.

It comes after an increase in the number of songs using AI to recreate the work of well-known musicians and bands.

Artists including Eminem, Drake, The Weeknd and Oasis have all seen fake copies of their work produced in this manner.

Speaking to the BBC, Sting said: “The building blocks of music belong to us, to human beings.

“That’s going to be a battle we all have to fight in the next couple of years: Defending our human capital against AI.

“The tools are useful, but we have to be driving them,” he said. “I don’t think we can allow the machines to just take over. We have to be wary.”

He added that he felt the same way about AI generated songs as he did about movies that use CGI.

“It doesn’t impress me at all,” he said.

“I get immediately bored when I see a computer-generated image. I imagine I will feel the same way about AI making music.

“Maybe for electronic dance music, it works. But for songs, you know, expressing emotions, I don’t think I will be moved by it.”

Sting’s remarks come ahead of the Ivor Novello songwriting awards on Thursday, where he is due to receive a fellowship – the organisation’s highest honour.

He will be the 23rd fellow the academy has inducted in its 79-year history, joining the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Joan Armatrading, Peter Gabriel and Sir Elton John.