With Artificial Intelligence in place, critical for consideration should be the legal aspect in regard to protecting ownership and the rights of creatives.  

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) reshapes landscapes, imagine the resurrection of the legendary reggae singer, Bob Marley, through a new song, despite him being departed for decades. Envision a concert where Bob shares the stage with contemporary artists, thrilling fans across generations. This isn’t mere fantasy; it’s the reality AI ushers in, offering profound implications for the creative industry and beyond.

AI’s march into various life facets has been relentless, with its impact on the creative sector particularly pronounced. Today, a song can feature the late Mowzey Radio, sparking bewilderment and awe at the technology enabling posthumous collaborations. Such innovations highlight AI’s transformative role in music, film, writing, and visual content creation.

Chatbots have the ability to write a song, generate the melody and beat (track) but most interestingly, emulate voices of today’s popular musicians. AI can write a million songs or film scripts before a human finishes one. It can also create its own human-like images (photos and videos). You have to imagine what that means for screenwriters, songwriters, visual content creators, models, actors, authors, journalists and all other creative writers.

At Swangz Avenue, nestled at the heart of creativity, spanning music, film, marketing, events, and more. We’re acutely aware of this shift. Embracing AI, we’ve harnessed its potential for data analysis, enhancing our event planning and marketing, exemplified by the success of our ‘Roast n Rhyme’ event.

Yet, our engagement with AI transcends mere application. We’ve intertwined AI learning with our Swangz Academy, enriching our curriculum with courses in talent and event management, and prompt engineering. This integration not only prepares us for an AI-centric future but also empowers our youth, equipping them with skills for tomorrow’s job market.

Our commitment to youth employment is tangible. Through our skilling academy, festivals, and diverse experiences, we’ve created 600,000 dignified jobs over five years. These opportunities, rooted in creativity and innovation, exemplify our role in tackling youth unemployment, showcasing a model where culture, technology, and education converge to forge new pathways.

The discussion on AI’s role in the creative industry often veers towards apprehension, fearing the displacement of human creativity. However, our experience at SwangzAvenue illustrates a different narrative. AI and human ingenuity are not adversaries but allies, each enhancing the other’s potential. Our story reaffirms that technology, when harnessed with vision, can amplify human creativity, not diminish it.

However, every useful invention ever made has been abused in equal measure. AI won’t be any different. For creatives, the grey area is impersonation and violation of intellectual property.

As we navigate this AI-enhanced terrain, we’re mindful of the challenges, particularly around intellectual property and ethical use. The Masavu song by Azawi ft the late MozeyRadio case prompts crucial questions about creators’ rights in an AI-driven landscape. One would ask ‘If AI empowers anyone with access to a computer to manipulate people’s voices, lyrics or sound to make new creations that they proceed to earn from, what’s the fate of the bonafidecreators?’

Thus, robust legislation is imperative to safeguard these rights, ensuring that AI serves as a tool for empowerment rather than exploitation.

The European Union’s proactive stance on AI regulation offers a blueprint for Uganda to follow, recognizing the need to adapt our legal frameworks to this new era. It’s time for our nation to embrace this paradigm shift, acknowledging the creative industry’s potential as a powerhouse for economic and social advancement.

At Swangz Avenue, our journey with AI is just beginning. We’re committed to exploring this frontier, driven by a vision where technology and creativity unite to open new doors of opportunity, particularly for our youth. As we look to the future, we stand at the cusp of a new era, ready to harness AI’s potential to enrich our culture, economy, and the very fabric of our society.

Julius Kyazze is the Chief Executive Officer at Swangz Avenue, a pioneering talent management and production house at the forefront of integrating AI into the creative realm.