Among the more unusual tracks advertised on the landing page of streaming platform Musixy.ai is Donald Trump singing “I’m the GOAT”, the viral song by Ghanaian rapper Ay Poyoo.
Also on offer are AI-generated versions of Billie Eilish singing “Happy Birthday Mr President”, and Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” in the style of Justin Bieber.
Users are encouraged to create, upload and re-sell their own “hit songs” by purchasing the AI vocals of famous singers. You could produce a cover of Kanye West by Adele for as little as €29, or get Paul McCartney to sing a brand-new tune composed especially for you for €290.
With every song on the platform clearly labelled as an unofficial AI cover, it is all perfectly legal — at least for now.
On the borders of the law
Can Ansay, Musixy.ai’s founder, is a lawyer by training — but has made a career out of finding legal loopholes where technology has got the head start on regulation.
Ansay’s Cyprus-based portfolio of companies includes Yoursearch.ai — a ChatGPT-based search engine — and Yournews.ai, an AI-powered news summary service that aggregates news from behind media paywalls.
In 2018, Ansay also founded AU-Schein, a digital health platform that enabled users to get certificates for paid leave without having to visit a doctor. For €29, users could fill in a five-minute questionnaire that is then checked by a doctor, or €19 for a teleconsultation.
AU-Schein is still operating in France after launching in 2020, and Ansay plans to expand the platform to other countries.
It has not been a smooth ride. The French authorities took legal action against Ansay in 2020 and shut the website down, but he simply relaunched it under a different domain name. Ansay says AU-Schein has had more than 700,000 users in France and Germany since it launched, a team of 20 and an annual turnover of nearly €3m.
“No one thought it was legal to offer doctor’s notes online, especially since we gave them out [via] WhatsApp,” says Ansay.
“Then we started and everyone realised that it was.”
Staying ahead of regulation
Tech companies have long flourished in regulatory grey zones, and AU-Schein is no different. It was born at a time when regulation in Europe around telemedicine was changing, something that only increased with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The rules of AI, which underpins Ansay’s new project, are even more volatile. Brussels is only now starting to debate how copyright should be treated in the era of generative AI. Photo provider Getty has already accused AI company Stability AI of using copyrighted images to train its image-generating model, while the music industry ponders whether AI-generated music should be eligible for a Grammy Award, and Spotify pledges to not ban AI-made music — after pulling a track that featured the AI-generated voices of Drake and The Weeknd.
In this unclear regulatory landscape, Ansay sees only opportunity.
He is quick to defend himself from the accusation that there is an ethical dimension to what his companies do. “I’m only doing stuff that I think is legitimate and should be legal, only it is not regulated yet,” he says.
And if the law finally catches up with him? He’ll simply adapt.
“The law follows the pioneers that are the first to find a great solution that no one thought of,” says Ansay. "The inventor of the car didn’t ask the lawmaker for permission to invent the car."