Futureverse Launches Jen, An AI Music Model Focused on ‘Transparency’

Futureverse Launches Jen, An AI Music Model Focused on ‘Transparency’

Futureverse, an AI music company co-founded by music technology veteran Shara Senderoff, has announced the alpha launch of Jen, its text-to-music AI model. Available for anyone to use on its website, Jen-1 is an AI model that can be safely used by creators, given it was trained on 40 different fully-licensed catalogs (and then verified against 150 million songs).

The company’s co-founders, Senderoff and Aaron McDonald, first teased Jen’s launch by releasing a research paper and conducting an interview with Billboard in August 2023. In the interview, Senderoff explained that “Jen is spelled J-E-N because she’s designed to be your friend who goes into the studio with you. She’s a tool.”

Some of Jen’s capabilities, available at its alpha launch, include the ability to generate 10-45 second song snippets using text prompts. To lengthen the song to a full 3:30-long duration, one can use its “continuation” feature to re-prompt and add on additional segments to the song. With a focus on “its commitment to transparency, compensation and copyright identification,” as its press release states, Jen has made much of its inner workings available to the public via its research papers, including that the model uses “latent diffusion,” the same process used by Stable Diffusion, DALL-E 2, and Imagen to create high quality images. (It is unclear which music AI models use “latent diffusion” as well, given many do not share this information publicly).

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Additionally, when works are created with Jen, users receive a JENUINE indicator, verifying that the song was made with Jen at a specific timestamp. To be more specific, this indicator is a cryptographic hash that is then recorded on The Root Network blockchain.

In an effort to work more closely with the music business, Futureverse brought on APG founder/CEO Mike Caren as a founding partner in fall 2023. While its mid-2024 release date makes it a late entrant in the music AI space, the company attributes this delay to making sure its 40 licenses were secured.

For now, Futureverse has declined to comment on which songs are included in their overall training catalog for Jen, but a representative for the company says that among these 40 catalogs includes a number of production libraries. Futureverse says it is also in talks with all major music companies and will have more licenses secured soon for Jen’s beta launch, expected for September 2024. Some licensing partners could be announced as soon as 4-6 weeks from the alpha launch.

In September, Futureverse has more capabilities planned, including longer initial song results, inpainting (the process of filling in missing sections or gaps in a musical piece) and a capability the company calls its “StyleFilter,” allowing users to upload an audio snippet of an instrument or track and then change the genre or timbre of it at the click of a button.

Also in September, Futureverse plans to launch a beat marketplace called R3CORD to go along with JEN. This will let JEN users upload whatever they produce with JEN to the marketplace and sell the works to others.

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So far, the U.S. Copyright Office has advised that fully AI generated creations are not protected copyrights. Instead, they are considered “public domain” works and are not eligible to earn royalties like copyrights do, but any human additions made to an AI-assisted work are able to be copyright protected. (Already, this guidance has been applied in the music business in the case of Drake and Sexyy Red’s “U My Everything” which sampled the fully-AI generated sound recording “BBL Drizzy).”

“We have reached a defining moment for the future of the music industry. To ensure artistry maintains the value it deserves, we must commit to honor the creativity and copyrights of the past, while embracing the tools that will shape the next generation of music creation,” says Senderoff. “Jen empowers creators with tools that enhance their creative process. Jen is a collaborator; a friend in the studio that works with you to ideate and iterate. As we bring Jen to market, we are partnering with music rights holders and aligning with the industry at large to deliver what we believe is the most ethical approach to generative AI.” 

“We’re incredibly proud of the work that’s gone into building Jen, from our research and technology to a strategy that we continue to develop with artists’ rights top of mind,” says Caren. “We welcome an open dialogue for those who’ve yet to meet Jen. There’s a seat at the table for every rightsholder to participate in building this next chapter of the music industry.”