ASCAP wrapped its Music City AI Symposium on Nov. 7 at the Twelve Thirty Club exploring the topic of AI, what songwriters need to know about it and how writers can use it to their advantage in the writers’ room.
ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams, Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews and Chief Digital and Strategy Officer Nick Lehman kicked off the morning with opening remarks on ASCAP’s dedication to protecting its members rights in the age of AI before the day moved into panel programming.
The first panel, “Navigating AI: Evolving Legal and Policy Frameworks,” was moderated by Lehman and featured leading attorneys Kevin Madigan (Copyright Alliance), Emily Chapius (Deputy General Counsel for the US copyright office), Dan Schnapp (Sheppard Mullin), Anna Gressel (Paul, Weiss), and Warner Music Group Chief Digital Officer Carletta Higginson. The conversation delved into the complex legal implications of AI, protecting creators’ rights, and the evolving landscape of copyright policies. They urged a proactive approach to protecting one’s work in the AI age.
“The big question we are looking at is authorship,” said Chapuis. “Does it have to be created by a human author or is it from machines? It needs to be created by a human, not just generated by an AI system. We are looking for enough human input, enough human creation.”
The second session, “Melody, Lyrics & Algorithm: Music Creators in the Age of AI,” featured AI-fluent music creators Curtiss King and Anna Vaus, who shared their experiences and insights into using AI as a tool to enhance their creative process. Singer-songwriter Chris DeStefano moderated the panel, and attendees were left with information about the creative potential and benefits of AI.
Both panels concluded with interactive Q&A sessions, where attendees got to ask ASCAP leaders and the panel speakers alike about their AI expertise.
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