FN Meka, a robot rapper powered by artificial-intelligence, recently signed a deal with a major record label. The signing comes after the robot rapper amassed a following of over 10 million followers on TikTok with over 1 billion views. FN Meka’s first single under this major label is titled “Florida Water” and features Billboard 200 chart-topping rapper Gunna, Fortnite streamer Clix, and was produced by Turbo and DJ Holiday.
FN Meka’s developer, Factory New, created AI technology that analyzes well-known songs from particular genres and provides recommendations for the lyrical substance, chords, melody, and tempo of songs. These components are then merged to create a song. While a human voice is currently required to sing these songs, researchers are aiming to develop software that allows computers to create and deliver their own lyrics, with humans as potential co-writers.
In the wake of litigation regarding AI-created works and legislation addressing the use of human-created lyrics in court, the creation and subsequent signing of a robot to create and perform music begs the question: who will ultimately own the rights to these creations? While it’s unclear if this signing will start a new trend in music, one thing is for certain: the convergence of art and technology is sure to bring about unprecedented questions of law.