Tennessee enacts law protecting against AI, voice clones
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Tennessee enacts law protecting against AI, voice clones

Thursday, March 21, 2024 – Tennessee enacted first-in-the-nation legislation , known as the ELVIS Act that protects every person's voice against artificial intelligence and voice clones.

The legislation – known as "Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security (ELVIS) Act - was signed into law earlier today by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee at lower Broadway honky-tonk Robert's Western World in Nashville.

"From Beale Street to Broadway, to Bristol and beyond, Tennessee is known for our rich artistic heritage that tells the story of our great state. As the technology landscape evolves with artificial intelligence, I thank the General Assembly for its partnership in creating legal protection for our best-in-class artists and songwriters," said Gov. Bill Lee.

Luke Bryan told the crowd, "What an amazing precedent to set for the state of Tennessee. The leaders of this are showing artists who are moving here following their dreams that our state protects what we work so hard for, and I personally want to thank all of our legislators and people who made this bill happen. It's hard to wrap your head around what is going on with AI, but I know the ELVIS Act will help protect our voices."

Chris Janson, who was on hand for the signing, said, "It's a pleasure to be here today. If it weren't for moving to this town and busking up and down the street begging for a gig, I would not be where I am today. It takes real leadership, and it takes a real team coming together to protect us. I came here wanting a voice, wanting to be heard and to sing in a Lower Broadway honkytonk. Do you know what that means to a kid from the Midwest or South Florida or all of these other cities around the world? It means they made it, and now we need to protect our voices from AI-generated deepfakes using our voices, our dreams. I love what I do, I'm so grateful for my job, and I'm grateful for leadership who cares. Thank you for passing the ELVIS Act today."

"Fittingly named after one of the world's most iconic voices, the ELVIS Act marks a history-defining moment – protecting us all from irresponsible and unethical AI. The Human Artistry Campaign applauds this strong, bipartisan effort to stop unauthorized AI-generated deepfakes and voice clones that steal essential parts of our individuality," said Dr. Moiya McTier, Human Artistry Campaign Senior Advisor. "The life's work and irreplaceable contributions of the creative community to our culture deserve safeguards that allow AI technology to be used responsibly without violating anyone's rights or appropriating their art."

Other prominent members of the music community – many who have lent support from the beginning – were on hand to celebrate the ELVIS Act, including Natalie Grant; Maggie Rose; Wendy Moten; Drew Baldridge; Harper Grace; Tennessee Entertainment Commission chair Gebre Waddell; Stax Music Academy/Stax Museum's Pat Mitchell Worley and Isaac Daniel; and Sam Phillips Recording's Jerry Phillips.

State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson and House Majority Leader William Lamberth shepherded the ELVIS Act to unanimous General Assembly passage (93-0 vote in the House of Representatives and 30-0 in the Senate).

"The Recording Academy celebrates the passage of the ELVIS Act as a groundbreaking achievement in the effort to protect human creators in the age of AI. This milestone represents the power of collaboration, and it was a privilege to work with our partners in the Human Artistry Campaign, Gov. Lee and the Tennessee state legislature to move the ELVIS Act forward. Today is just the beginning — as AI continues to develop, the Recording Academy and our members will continue to support meaningful legislation across the country that uplifts music people and human creativity," said Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy.

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