Press Clipping
At SXSW, It Was Goodbye NFTs and Hello AI Music

Where have all the NFT brothers gone? That was common at this year’s South-by-Southwest, the super-sized music-tech-culture conference in Austin, Texas.

In 2022, some 40 panels and presentations focused on formerly fashionable now-fugitive non-fungible tokens.

A panel last year featured FTX crypto-exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried and e-sports entrepreneur Andy Dinh, described at the event as “two giant entrepreneurs … not only changing the landscape in their own fields, Rather the economic landscape as we know it.”

Three months before this year’s SXSW, Bankman-Fried was indicted and arrested on charges of securities fraud, money laundering and campaign finance law violations. He was later released on $250 million bond, on the condition that he remain at his parents’ home in California.

The SBF scandal and the recent collapse of crypto-friendly Signature Bank equated to massive net losses in NFTs at this year’s confab. A search of the schedule showed as many as half of the NFT-related panel.

“The world of technology moves very quickly toward the next big thing,” said Mollie White, a technology skeptic and Wikipedia editor who was a keynote speaker. “I think the cycle of mythmaking and propaganda that society goes through is not good.”

In place of NFTs, this year’s technology discussion revolved around artificial intelligence, including “Can Robots Create Life-Changing Songs?” and “Welcome to the Machine: Art in the Age of AI,” including composer Dan Navarro, writer of Pat Benatar’s hit “We Belong.” These panels took a more conservative approach to the AI-meets-art craze than last year’s NFT party’s Cavalier Parade. AI-generated ditties sound too trite and clunky for prime time, but AI can assist with difficult and trivial musical tasks like film score orchestration and music track mastering.

On the day of those two panels, the US Copyright Office released its much-anticipated directive on AI music copyright, stating that music created entirely by AI modelers like Google’s GOOG text-to-music generator MusicLM cannot be copyrighted. Could Only the human-authored aspects of a work that are independent of AI-generated content. This ban may feel like a dash of ice to hot AI companies trying to attract investment based on monetization models that rely on copyright protections.

So what will be the hot tech topic next year?

The lanyard on this year’s Festival Laminates may offer a clue. LabelCoin, which has been called the “Robinhood of Music”, is one of a growing number of “music market” firms offering artists an alternative to the major label systems with the promise of a music “stock exchange” where fans can buy shares. and can sell. Of songs

Other companies surfing that growing wave include SongWest, JKBX, and, whose founder Justin Blau aka 3LAU is an EDM star who spoke at SXSW this year. Blau made headlines in 2021 by selling $11.7 million in NFTs of his album ultravioletWhich you can also get on most streaming services.

In the mid-19th century, Austin was full of cowboys and Comanches on horseback. Nowadays, its tech and music connoisseurs are chasing the Next Big Thing on birds and other trendy scooters.