On Thursday, YouTube introduced several experimental AI services, one of which is Dream Track in YouTube Shorts. This feature generates up to 30-second soundtracks using AI-generated versions of artists’ voices. Despite some musicians being wary of AI and concerns about using their voices without permission or compensation for model training, YouTube managed to enlist the participation of nine prominent figures from the music industry, including John Legend, Troye Sivan, CharliXCX, and T-Pain. Although the company aimed to announce the feature at its Made on YouTube event in September, negotiations with recording companies over rights and payments delayed the announcement.
To use Dream Track, users input an idea into the creation prompt and select one of the participating artists. The feature utilizes Google DeepMind’s Lyria, a robust music generation model tailored for creating high-quality vocals and instrumentals while offering users greater control over the final output. Any content produced by Lyria will bear a SynthID watermark, indicating its origin.
Charlie Puth and T-Pain have created sample Dream Tracks, shared by YouTube for inspiration. Despite reservations about AI expressed by some artists, there is hope that collaborative efforts can lead to positive and non-exploitative opportunities. Singer CharliXCX, reflecting on the experiment, stated, “When I was first approached by YouTube, I was cautious and still am. AI is going to transform the world and the music industry in ways we do not yet fully understand. This experiment will offer a small insight into the creative opportunities that could be possible, and I’m interested to see what comes out of it.”
YouTube is introducing Music AI Tools in partnership with its Music AI Incubator. These innovative tools have the capability to generate guitar riffs based on a hummed melody or transform a pop track into a reggaeton anthem. To demonstrate the capabilities of these tools, producer and songwriter Louis Bell has crafted a sample video.
YouTube is treading a delicate path as it manages the intricate challenge of introducing AI tools while safeguarding against potential misuse. The video platform has recently unveiled updated policies to label videos created using AI and has implemented a mechanism for public figures, including musicians, to report deepfakes.
Presently, Dream Track is accessible only to a limited group of creators and artists, while participants in the Music AI Incubator can anticipate the opportunity to test these tools later in the year.