Will.i.am wants to protect his “facial math” from AI

"I own the rights to the songs I wrote, but I don’t own the rights to my face or my voice?"

Will.i.am has made his stance on AI music known by sharing that he wants to protect his “facial math” from the technology.

In recent news, many hip-hop legends have chimed in on the AI music debate. Producer Timbaland previewed an AI-generated Notorious B.I.G verse and is working on AI software to commercialise the phenomenon. Whereas, Snoop Dogg said AI music has got “outta hand” in regards to a Michael Jackson AI cover of C-Murder‘s ‘Down With My N’s’.

Now, the Black Eye Peas founder has used an appearance Sirius XM to share his thoughts on whether or not AI is benefitting the music industry. In response, the Grammy Award-winning polymath said: “We all have voices, and everyone’s compromised because there are no rights or ownership to your facial math or your voice frequency.”


He explained his cynicism, adding: “You’re getting a FaceTime or a Zoom call and because there’s no intelligence on the call, there’s nothing to authenticate an AI call or a person call.”

He continued: “That’s the urgent thing, protecting our facial math. I am my face math. I don’t own that. I own the rights to ‘I Got A Feeling’, I own the rights to the songs I wrote, but I don’t own the rights to my face or my voice?”

Recently, Sting said AI “doesn’t impress” him and that songwriters will have to defend “our human capital against AI.”  Whereas, Smashing PumpkinsBilly Corgan said “AI will change music forever” since others can “game the system” and “not going to spend 10,000 hours in a basement.”

Grimes has been particularly vocal about her support for evolving music technology, including AI, which she also touched on in a speech at the annual International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza last month.

Recently, the producer has given fans her blessing to use her voice to create new music using AI as long as she gets half of any royalties made from the tracks, as she would with any artist she works with.


In January, Black Eye Peas sued MGA after they made pooping unicorn toys that allegedly sing a rip-off of the group’s 2005 hit, ‘My Humps’, called ‘My Poops’.

Last September, Will.i.am claimed he inspired Beyoncé‘s ‘Break My Soul’ remix EP, saying “They weren’t thinking about remixes until I sent it.”

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