Guy Oseary Says He’s Hunting for the Next Big AI Company That Pays Artists: ‘I Am on the Side of Talent’


Oseary and Ashton Kutcher’s VC fund raised nearly $250 million to invest in AI growth companies.

Guy Oseary and Ashton Kutcher of A-Grade speak onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 at The Manhattan Center on May 1, 2013 in New York City.

Brian Ach/GI for TechCrunch

Guy Oseary, Madonna‘s manager and an early investor in Uber and Airbnb, says he is working to find the next big artificial intelligence companies that will fairly compensate creators.

Oseary and partner Ashton Kutcher raised nearly $250 million for a growth fund to invest in artificial intelligence companies through their venture capital firm Sound Ventures in May. Speaking during a fireside chat at the National Music Publishers Association’s annual meeting, Oseary said that he understands the fears from the songwriter community that AI companies could use their work without fairly compensating them but says AI companies are still exploring business models and could develop methods that are advantageous for rights holders.

“I am on the side of talent — you can’t just type in a name and pop out a song,” said Oseary. “It’s early days. We are not losing any sales right now and we are not making any sales right now. It’s early days, and we need to figure out how to be friends.”

Sound Ventures’s AI Fund’s first investments include stakes in OpenAI — the lab behind ChatGPT that was co-founded by Elon Musk — as well as the generative AI startup, Anthropic and Stability AI, which created the AI-powered Stable Diffusion image generator.

Oseary said they are investing in companies that “plug into” ubiquitous technology companies like Google and Apple. While he has yet to meet an AI company that addresses how to compensate rights holders, Oseary said he is optimistic that companies will get there.

“Out of the last 20 companies that I’ve met with in AI, 20 out of 20 are showing me things that have nothing to do with talent,” Oseary says. “No one has really solved that problem [of paying the creators on which the technology relies].”

Oseary spoke during a slot the NMPA had previously said it would be hosting a chat with Warner Music Group chief executive Robert Kyncl.

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