Microsoft is bringing AI-powered music creation into the mainstream with a new integration between its Copilot coding assistant and Suno, an AI music composition app. Announced earlier today, the integration allows Copilot users to simply type a prompt like “Create an uplifting pop song about going on vacation” and have Suno generate complete musical compositions on the fly.
This capability builds on growing interest and innovation around AI tools that can create original music. So far such tools have mostly been locked up in research labs or niche startups. By baking music AI directly into Copilot, one of its flagship products with millions of existing users, Microsoft is exposing the technology to a huge new audience.
The rollout of the music functionality will happen gradually over the coming weeks. To try it out, Copilot users just need to install the Suno plugin and they can start cueing up AI-generated tunes. The results include vocals, instrumentals, and lyrics generated from just a short text prompt.
Microsoft and Suno believe this will “open new horizons for creativity and fun, making music creation accessible to everyone.” However, the legal and ethical issues surrounding AI-created music are far from settled. The technology typically “learns” by analyzing large volumes of existing songs, sometimes without artists’ consent.
The Grammys recently banned fully AI-generated music from awards consideration over concerns about copyright infringement. Other streaming platforms have also removed AI songs that too closely resembled chart-topping hits. Suno itself does not reveal exactly what music its models have trained on.
So while Microsoft’s integration with Suno promises to bring AI music creation to the masses, it also raises thorny questions around copyright, compensation for artists, and model transparency that have yet to be addressed. The company risks backlash if Copilot churns out songs that sound suspiciously like those from popular musicians without their permission.
As the legal territory remains murky, Microsoft would be wise to err on the side of caution - perhaps limiting the length of samples Copilot can generate or the ability for users to specifically prompt AI mimics of existing artists. There may well be exciting creative potential in putting an AI composition tool in every coder’s hands. But Microsoft should make sure to respect artists’ rights in the process.
The coming court battles around AI copyright and music could help provide some of the missing guidance. A newly proposed Senate bill would also give musicians recourse when AI models borrow too liberally from their catalogs without consent. For now, Microsoft is forging ahead by putting music AI on millions of desktops - historians may view this as either the democratization of art or the beginning of a new infringement crisis.