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British musician Sting Image Credit: Reuters

London: British musician Sting warned against songs written by artificial intelligence in an interview with the BBC published Thursday, urging caution about the technology.

The 71-year-old former frontman of The Police said, "The building blocks of music belong to us, to human beings."

"That's going to be a battle we all have to fight in the next couple of years: Defending our human capital against AI," he said.

The use of AI in music is the subject of debate in the industry, with some denouncing copyright abuses and others praising its prowess.

AI technology was used to imitate Canadian singers Drake and The Weeknd in a song released last month called "Heart On My Sleeve".

The viral track was briefly available on music streaming platforms before it was pulled following a copyright complaint from Universal Music Group, which publishes both artists through a subsidiary.

David Guetta meanwhile recently used AI to add a vocal in the style of rapper Eminem to a song for a live show.

But the French producer said he will not release it commercially.

"The tools are useful, but we have to be driving them," Sting said.

"I don't think we can allow the machines to just take over. We have to be wary," he added.

Sting - real name Gordon Sumner - shot to fame with The Police in the late 1970s and early 1980s with hits such as "Roxanne", "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon".

He then forged a solo career with classics such as "Englishman in New York", "Fields of Gold" and "Shape of My Heart".