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AI Music - Pandora? Is that you?

AI Music
AI Music

Yes, I am still cynical about the impact AI will have on the creative arts. For all the benefits, there are an equal or greater amount of risks particularly for the composer and songwriter or any other creative professionalsI. I will simply say the following. AI can not create art and while it may be able to create music in the technical sense it has not or may not (hope not) reach the spark of human ingenuity and creativity.

However, will AI generated music be good enough? Good enough for a commercial? A score? TV score? Game score? Why not. Garage band, Acid, Reason, Ableton loops and other drag and drop music has been good enough for years enabling the simplest amateur to be successful. So will AI music be good enough? Maybe...probably since music appreciation and effectiveness is in the eye of the beholder - director, producer, listener, etc. and in many cases in the eye of the budget. So if you can get decent music for cheap and have AI produce music in the style of X composer, yeah I can see that. Of course this makes it that much harder for professional composers who have spent years and even decades honing their craft to compete with the AI composer software.

While human composition requires that unique spark of ideation, melodic structure, voicing, orchestration, counterpoint, etc. technology may not be able to construct complex emotional and structural abstract concepts into art. But you never know. I am concerned that if we passively adopt Al music without critique or challenge, we are at great risk of diminishing the unique perspectives and cultural vitality that has traditionally come from human-made creative works.

Another consideration is the demonetization and devaluing of human art versus AI generated facsimiles. If you can create an AI generated piece of music that has little financial value but is good enough, this will put enormous pressure on professional Composers and the "value" of what they do and the music they create. This will make it even harder for existing and up and coming composers to get paid what their worth which is already a difficult challenge.

Lastly, as a point of consideration, this is not just a technology disrupter that effects composer, musicians, etc. but all creative artists from photographers, videographers, directors to artists and more. Think of this. If you are an Apple user of Keynote you are familiar with the "Ken Burns" effect of image presentation. This is an old technology, but still mimicked Ken's editing style of presenting still images. No imagine if you import video/film footage into an AI editing software that enables you to process or edit the footage in the style of Chris Nolan, Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton. While cool and fun, it in this humble composers opinion, devalues their creativity, vision, and unique God given talent. Why would Chris Nolan be relevant any more when everyone can look like a Chris Nolan shot or scene.

I know I sound like a dooms day alarmist, but these are the types of questions we as a musical brother and sisterhood should be discussing before its too late because its coming. Its already tough in the scoring world with the classic 10% of top composers doing 90% of the work. Now add AI and you have a dead industry and human nature being what it is...good enough will suffice. Don't believe me? One word - MP3.




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