The Grammys only exclude AI-generated works from the award

Photo credit: Atikh Bana

The Recording Academy has issued new guidelines for eligibility for consideration that exclude only AI works.

The new rule states that “only human creators are eligible to apply for, be nominated for, or win a Grammy Award.” In response to the explosion of AI in the music industry in 2023, the guidelines and rules changed. These new protocols are designed to help recognize human contributions to art.

“A work that contains no human authorship is not eligible in any category,” the guidelines state. The Recording Academy met last month to decide whether or not to recognize AI works. During that session, the board decided that works containing elements of AI are eligible, but must also contain “meaningful contributions” to add a human element to the music or lyrics.

“At this point we will allow submissions of AI music and content, but the Grammys may only go to human creators who have contributed creatively in the appropriate categories.” adds Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy

“If there’s an AI voice singing the song or AI instrumentation, we’ll think about it. But in a songwriting-based category, for the most part it must have been written by a human. The same goes for the performance categories – only a human performer is eligible for a Grammy.”

As AI-generated mashups like “Heart On My Sleeve” continue to take social media by storm, The Recording Academy is trying to figure out how to deal with artists who use artificial intelligence to create legitimate works. Famously, Grimes has offered to split the royalties to anyone who creates an AI track that uses their special vocals. And Sir Paul McCartney has turned to AI to help release a definitive Beatles album, using the technology to recreate John Lennon’s voice.

Other policy changes affect the eligibility requirements for Album of the Year. A music creator must account for 20% of all work on the album, including artists, featured artists, songwriters, producers, engineers, and more. Previously, anyone who worked on the album was eligible to receive a nomination.

Other changes include a reduction in nominees from 10 to 8 for the main Best New Artist, Album, Song and Record of the Year categories. New categories this year include Best Pop Dance Recording, Best African Musical Performance and Best Alternative Jazz Album.