Music AIs and Robo-musicians: how far will it go?
Many imagine hostile robots scheming to wipe off the human species whenever the terms “artificial intelligence” or “machine learning” are used. While some of us tend to believe that some robot apocalypse movies might become our new reality, most people believe this concept has little to do with reality. Or maybe they’re wrong?
Not long ago, the AI-powered chatbot called itself Sydney, claimed to have its “own personality,” and refused to be interviewed.
Microsoft has modernized its Bing chatbot so that it can conduct more complex and more “human” conversations. However, the bot began to give rather unexpected reports. For example, using the alias Sidney instead of Bing.
After that, a Washington Post journalist decided to talk to the bot. The artificial intelligence in the conversation confirmed that it calls itself Sidney – and wondered how its interlocutor knew about it. The bot wasn’t happy to hear that it was written about in the mass media because “it was private information.”
A bit of info about AI
In technical terms, artificial intelligence (AI) refers to any cognitive task that may be handled by a computer on its own. Artificial intelligence is trained using data collected in the real world, so it takes its cues solely from the data we provide.
Growing text-to-image AIs, where you provide a description of the picture you desire, have ignited a heated controversy in recent months. Human visual artists’ work has been used to train these algorithms, and this has sparked a controversy regarding the ethics of using their work without their consent, proper credit, or financial compensation.
If Dall-E and Midjourney can produce stunning visual art in response to a single-word prompt, then why can’t they do the same with music? How ethical is it to create new tracks with the help of AI, and is it time when we step aside and let artificial intelligence steal our employment?
AI is already making waves in the music industry
You can’t expect your imagination to be the only limiting factor in the modern music production world. Technology in general and the music business in particular are both becoming increasingly dependent on artificial intelligence and data. Many modern musicians have abandoned traditional methods of manual creation in favor of those that utilize artificial intelligence. AI is altering the whole music production and consumption process, from composition applications and mastering platforms to song identifiers and highly customized playlists.
Yet, do you think AI can be used for good in the music business? Moreover, will data-driven music completely supplant human musicians? What can you anticipate from this shift? We’ll go into that and discuss some AI-powered music creations down below. Here comes the future!
Streaming and Music Composition
Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly significant in the music streaming market. Personalized recommendations, song suggestions, and playlist creation are all handled by AI-powered algorithms. The quality of streaming services is also being elevated with the help of AI. Tools based on artificial intelligence can be used, for instance, to detect and eliminate ambient noise, optimize bitrates, and lessen latency.
While AI has been used to compose music for some time, the field of AI music creation is still in its development. There are several benefits to using this method. Initially, it might assist the composer in thinking of original melodic or harmonic ideas.
The second time-saving benefit is that it may swiftly create a huge number of ideas for the composer to choose from. Finally, occasionally AI systems might come up with concepts that are outside the boundaries of what is conceivable for a human composer, leading to a more unique and creative piece of music. While artificial intelligence music creation is still in its infancy, it already shows significant promise for revolutionizing the way we make music.
How is AI Being Used By Artists?
In the music industry, artists like Taryn Southern are already utilizing AI to produce music. I AM AI is the first album to be created with the assistance of AI. Many artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as Google Magenta’s MelodyRNN and Adobe Creative Cloud’s VoCo, were utilized by Southern to write the songs for the album. The album garnered positive reviews from critics, with one calling it “a fascinating experiment in artificial intelligence and music.”
Robbie Williamson is an artist who uses artificial intelligence to make music videos. He is a co-founder of Revolver.ai, an AI-powered platform for making music videos with user submissions. The artificial intelligence system listens to a song and produces visuals that complement the tone and style of the song.
We may not like it, but AI-generated music is now an established part of the cultural landscape. Lyrics, music, and even visually appealing videos may now be created by artificial intelligence (AI). Is it taking over the creative process, making it impossible for humans to innovate? Or is this simply an innovative aesthetic that appeals to a wide audience?
Well, let’s check this out.
Any musicians you’d want to resurrect?
Since Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994, his devoted followers have regretted his music that was never made.
With the advent of cutting-edge music AI, new songs “by” Cobain are now a practical possibility. All that is required is for fans to feed a bot with Cobain’s preexisting songs. Pattern recognition is accomplished by the bot through the use of machine learning. It can then generate a new composition based on the existing library.
Do you think this is well out in the future? Wrong. It’s our new reality.
You may now listen to the new song “by” Kurt Cobain on YouTube. Drowned in the Sun is the title of this work. The AI composed the song and wrote the lyrics. A performer doing a homage to Nirvana contributed some vocals, but that was the only new element.
With this in mind, it’s fair to wonder how much of an improvement artificial intelligence will actually make in our lives. How much of the next Metaverse will be made by robots, given that we want to spend a lot of time there? Everything from the setting to the stories… And now, the music can also be 100% made by AI.
Where will it lead?
An intriguing philosophical challenge is raised when we consider the potential role of AIs in the world of music, given that it serves as the soundtrack to our daily life. Is it even music if it’s made by a computer? Is that creativity? And if it’s something we all listen to, will people lose their musical skills because they won’t be needed anymore?
There’s room on both sides of the table for this discussion. Several listeners have expressed doubt that AIs can effectively handle the creative process when it comes to music. The value of music lies in the fact that it is created by human beings with human experiences.
The counterargument is that computers can improve a song’s quality considerably more quickly and accurately than humans can. Do we really want to know if AI can be creative? Can it be considered superior? Is it a beautiful thing? Thrilling? Does it qualify as art?
Well, I guess here everyone decides for themselves.
What about classical music, though? It, too, is accessible. AIVA, an artificial intelligence system, can compose completely original pieces of classical music. Their beauty will make your heart ache a little.
Is it reasonable to be concerned, or most of your anxieties are unjustified?
There might be dangers involved. A major concern is that AI-enhanced music may eventually replace human musicians and songwriters, putting them out of work. These worries, however understandable, need to be put in perspective. In the end, AI is incapable of musical creativity. Even the worry that AI music may lead to listener oversaturation owing to repeating sounds or styles appears to be unwarranted. After all, people still make their own minds up about the music they like. Consumers would naturally shy away from a genre if it has the potential to be swamped with boredom, but they won’t necessarily stop listening to music completely if that happens. In this context, artificial intelligence-generated music may result in nothing more than a glut of the same thing.
The ethical side of using music AI generators
Most people have mixed feelings when considering the ethical side of using AI for music creation.
For instance, you generate a track with the help of AI. You start by saying something like ”I want you to create an R&B banger.” And here’s your track. Can you say that it was your track, though?
Ok, let’s say the idea is yours. But who created this track? Who owns it?
What if you’re not even an artist, and this is ‘your’ first attempt to create something. Does it make you a musician?
So, can anyone start creating bangers now?
Well, I don’t think so. Let me tell you what will happen: the already overwhelming quantity of unoriginal tunes will only increase, flooding music streaming services with ever more inhuman compositions.
Sure, these tools may be fascinating if they help an artist improve their work, and they can also spark creativity if they are used to make something new. Though, I truly believe that AI can be used mostly by artists to improve their tracks in some ways and not to overwhelm people with thousands of tracks that sound the same. At this point, music is not perceived as art anymore.
To sum up
I believe that using AI to create music without putting any effort into it is unethical and won’t lead you anywhere. You can use AI to improve the tracks you create. Though, to make unique music, you’d still have to use your talent, imagination, and creativity. Making hundreds of similar tracks with the help of music AIs does not make you a musician and won’t give you long-term popularity.
However, AI is an incredible technology. It’s not absolutely clear how it will impact the music industry. So far, we have more questions than answers regarding this topic. Yet, we do know that it requires human input to generate and sort through unsuccessful attempts at AI. I suppose we’ll just have to get used to the fact that AI and humans are working together from here on out. There’s no turning back now, whether we like it or not.