Sara Ono

Research Project

AI/DC: News coverage and framing of Generative AI in the music industry


Sara is part of the 2024 graduating class of Professional Communication. She has spent her undergraduate education with a focus on examining the relationship between Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and social structures of power/control. She has also spent the past 3 years as a research assistant at TMU, researching themes of Responsible Artificial Intelligence and Human-Robot Communication, as well as working as Project Manager of  “Explanatory Journalism Project” (XJO). In her free time, Sara is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and wanted to combine her academic interests with her creative ones.

Research Summary

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a topic of widespread interest beyond specialized academic and computer science circles, particularly in the context of its applications across various industries. One area experiencing significant transformation is the music industry, thanks to the integration of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and other forms of Generative AI. This innovative technology presents both opportunities and challenges, creating a tension in media narratives.

To gain deeper insights into how Generative AI in the music industry is discussed, my research seeks to explore how Western mass news media outlets frame this technology in terms of techno-optimism versus techno-pessimism, and how this framing differs from smaller, independent, and industry-specific outlets. Using text mining and sentiment analysis techniques on articles from major English-based online news outlets and music-specific publications over the past five years, I aim to uncover trends and differences in sentiment expression.

By analyzing the frequency of keywords associated with techno-optimism and techno-pessimism and developing lexicons of positive and negative terms, I aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of sentiments expressed by various sources. Through visualization and reporting of the findings, this study will offer valuable insights into the evolving perceptions of Generative AI in the music industry across different media platforms.

Research Poster

Lightning Talk

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