Saturday 14 January 2023

"...but that doesn’t mean that AI won’t put a lot of human musicians out of work."

"Duke Ellington once said that the blues was the 'music of romantic failure'—and just consider how many hit songs are about that particular way of falling short of expectations.
    "But can a machine ever even begin to understand such matters? Will AI [Artificial Intelligence] ever have a broken heart? Will AI ever grieve the death of a loved one? Will AI ever know about the music that helps Alzheimer’s patients or Parkinson’s sufferers or war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder? Will an AI ever sing a lullaby to its child? Will an AI ever need to pick a song for the first dance at its wedding reception?
    "And consider even more trivial uses of song, far beyond the experience of software, no matter how smartly designed. Will an AI ever need a [sea] shanty to help it hoist the sails on a ship? Will an AI ever embarrass itself at karaoke? Will an AI ever sing in the shower, or along with the radio during a daily commute?
    "These are limitations that the robot can never overcome. The human element in music will always be beyond its scope—and that’s a large part of what songs are all about.
    "It’s just like the Tin Man from Oz. What’s missing is the heart.
    "But that doesn’t mean that AI won’t put a lot of human musicians out of work. And the more those flesh-and-blood performers simplify their songs, the more likely they are to lose their jobs to the robot. The less they play from the heart, and the more they rely on formulas and stylised poses, the easier they will be to replace.
    "There’s a lesson there, for those human musicians savvy enough to learn it."

~ Ted Gioia, from his post 'How I Got an AI Theme Song for My Substack'

1 comment:

Peter Cresswell said...

NICK CAVE on a song writtten by AI/ChatGPT "in the style of Nick Cave":
"What ChatGPT is, in this instance, is replication as travesty. ChatGPT may be able to write a speech or an essay or a sermon or an obituary but it cannot create a genuine song. It could perhaps in time create a song that is, on the surface, indistinguishable from an original, but it will always be a replication, a kind of burlesque.

"Songs arise out of suffering, by which I mean they are predicated upon the complex, internal human struggle of creation and, well, as far as I know, algorithms don’t feel. Data doesn’t suffer. ChatGPT has no inner being, it has been nowhere, it has endured nothing, it has not had the audacity to reach beyond its limitations, and hence it doesn’t have the capacity for a shared transcendent experience, as it has no limitations from which to transcend. ChatGPT’s melancholy role is that it is destined to imitate and can never have an authentic human experience, no matter how devalued and inconsequential the human experience may in time become.

"What makes a great song great is not its close resemblance to a recognizable work. Writing a good song is not mimicry, or replication, or pastiche, it is the opposite...."