Artists criticise Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s investment in AI defence tech

"Fuck Spotify"

Spotify‘s CEO Daniel Ek’s investment in artificial intelligence defence technology has been met with backlash by artists and users on the streaming platform.

Ek announced earlier this month, that he was investing 100million euros (£85.2 million) into defence company Helsing and he was joining the board.

The company plans to use artificial intelligence to support militaries in battlefield assessment operations, reports Mixmag.

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The AI software can apparently recognise patterns from camera, thermal image, radar data and information from other sensors to create a situation picture that is as accurate as possible.

The deal has angered artists including producer Darren Sangita, who wrote on Twitter: “#BoycottSPOTIFY now! Cancel your subscription today. Artists and music lovers must not support the military #AI industry! Register your anger at the #Spotify involvement in sponsorship of Arms Corporations. This is so vile. Music is NOT War! Just wrong on every level.”

Brooklyn-based jazz percussionist, tabla player and composer also Sameer Gupta cancelled his Spotify subscription and took down most of his music catalogue, upon hearing the news.

He encouraged others to do the same by offering a 95 percent discount on his “entire Bandcamp” to “anyone else who is cancelling their Spotify.”

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Another artist in Italy SprawlScape MegaDeck was equally as angry.

“Fuck Spotify,” he wrote before adding: “I had 3 soundtracks ready for ttrpg module sprawlscape. just found out that the CEO invested €100 million in AI defence tech company. I’m closing the account, need to find another way to deliver the mixtapes. Pirate cassettes anyone? Vinyl DJ set?”

Many users also greeted the deal angrily with one writing: “Just cancelled my
@Spotify subscription. The CEO has given €100m, that he’s leeched from artists over the years, to a military company using AI weaponry. If I had the power to pull my music off those platforms I would. #boycottspotify.”

Another added: “Long time @Spotify subscriber from 2007 here, cancelled my subscription today because of this.”

Meanwhile, Spotify recently took on a suggestion from Adele and changed its default setting, which shuffles album tracks in random order.

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