New technology is being embraced by some, but not yet by others
While some cower in the corner at the prospect of where AI is taking us, and others consider a career change due to the very real possibility that their choice of employment could soon be obsolete, it appears others openly welcome the direction we are all heading in.
The way AI is developing, be it via services and creations like ChatGPT and Midjourney, is, of course, of prescient importance, and with any seismic leap we take as a species comes a certain amount of trepidation.
It’s only human to be cautious about where moves in the AI field will inevitably lead, and in the creative field, it’s led to much discussion and some disagreement.
While some artists may be reticent about the use of their voice or work in conjunction with any AI-related project, Canadian singer/songwriter Grimes is seemingly quite the opposite in her response, stating, “I’ll split 50% royalties on any successful AI generated song that uses my voice, feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings.”
She adds, “It’s cool to be fused [with] a machine” and that she likes “the idea of open sourcing all art and killing copyright.”
At this juncture, it may be appropriate to point out that she isn’t struggling financially, and, therefore, can perhaps afford to have this perspective. She is the former partner of Twitter and Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, with whom she shares a child.
It may also be germane to mention that Grimes has launched her own AI voice software, so she clearly has skin in the game.
Budding musicians and those with technological prowess may well be looking at these leaps as a great way to build something new, and it could prove a cost-effective way of putting together great productions, and it’s worth noting that there have been many moves in the music industry that have helped level the playing field.
For instance, those looking to source musical output for visual projects can now look to use royalty-free music as opposed to paying vast sums to license mainstream material and perhaps using AI tools to get the desired product should be seen as a helpful and potentially invaluable way to create great new music, as opposed to fearing what negative connotations come with these big jumps into the unknown.
The idea of AI being brought in to revolutionize music is very much on the rise, and an interesting example of this occurred earlier this year when a lesser-known band chose to pay homage to one of the greatest acts on the planet, with the help of AI technology.
Breezer, a little-known band, who grew tired of waiting for Brit-pop legends Oasis to reunite, and instead put together an album of work that they believe the band would have gone if their line-up from 1995-1997 were still playing music today.
This led to their creation of The Lost Tapes Volume One, and this is where the AI aspect was used to its fullest.
In order to make their work as authentic as possible, and not being able to enlist the help of Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, the band used an AI-inspired version of the Mancunian singer in their work, and it proved to be very effective indeed.
On the lack of an Oasis reunion, Breezer member Brian Geraghty shares, “We just got bored waiting for Oasis to reform. All we have now is Liam and his brother trying to outdo each other. But that isn’t Oasis.”
Jon Claire, another member of the band, commented on the rationale for their use of AI, stating, “We just wanted to give people a bit of nostalgia, a what-might-have-been, because we never really got any closure from Oasis. They just got worse and worse over the years, didn’t they?”
Liam Gallagher responded to their work, cleverly released under the name AISIS, saying he is familiar with their work, “Not the [whole] album,” before adding, “I heard a tune [and] it’s better than all the other snizzle out there.”
Liam then exclaimed, “Mad as fuck,” Liam concluded, “I sound mega.”
The use of AI in music, in whatever form that may take, seems inevitable, just as it does in all other walks of life. There have been plenty of doomsayers claiming that such a move could irrevocably impact the human race, but that need not be in a negative connotation as clearly technology often pushes us onwards that has dramatically improved our collective lives.
These concerns go all the way to the top with Geoffrey Hinton, dubbed the “Godfather of AI,” has openly discussed the potential negative directions AI might take us.
“We remain committed to a responsible approach to AI. We’re continually learning to understand emerging risks while also innovating boldly,” he shares. “The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that, but most people thought it was way off. And I thought it was way off. I thought it was 30 to 50 years or even longer away. Obviously, I no longer think that. I believe that the rapid progress of AI is going to transform society in ways we do not fully understand and not all of the effects are going to be good. I find this prospect much more immediate and much more terrifying than the prospect of robots taking over, which I think is a very long way off.”
I'll split 50% royalties on any successful AI generated song that uses my voice. Same deal as I would with any artist i collab with. Feel free to use my voice without penalty. I have no label and no legal bindings. pic.twitter.com/KIY60B5uqt
— 𝔊𝔯𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔰 (@Grimezsz) April 24, 2023