In the history books, 2023 will most likely be remembered as the year in which humanity saw the dawn of commercial AI. Since the open-sourcing of OpenAI’s viral language bot sensation, ChatGPT, many other open-source AIs have been used by online users to create everything from illustrated images to movie scripts and academic essays.
However, one of the most impressive feats that people online have managed to pull off is creating music using AI interpolations of big-name international artists.
In this article, we’re going to delve deeper into the software people are using to create AI music, the legalities of its creation, and what will become of the music industry as we know it.
The Potential of OpenAI’s ChatGPT
OpenAI is an artificial intelligence company founded way back in 2015. Its big-name founders include Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
According to a Business Insider article, Elon left the company in 2018 due to serious concerns about the attitude of the company, claiming that it had become a “maximum profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft.” Which was the opposite of what he wanted the company to be.
In late 2022 and early 2023, however, OpenAI’s language bot AI, named ChatGPT, went viral on social media for its detailed answers and astoundingly consistent research and use of language.
Using the AI myself, I discovered just how vast the possibilities were for the language model. AI can provide lengthy business plans, strategies, complex coding solutions, and even original literature in a matter of seconds.
In terms of music, people have been using the bot to create lyrics, which it can do in the style of a genre or even a specific artist. ChatGPT provides hooks, choruses, verses, and even ad-libs without specifically requesting them.
You may be wondering how it does this. Well, ChatGPT trawls the internet in a matter of seconds via “web scraping”. According to the AI coding blog, Botpress, “Web Scraping involves extracting data from other websites using automated tools”. So, in layman’s terms, ChatGPT is less of a sentient creative computer and more of a highly advanced mimic machine that mirrors data found from other human sources.
In the music industry, however, this could make creating albums even quicker. Imagine that if Drake doesn’t want to write a song one day, he can just tell ChatGPT “Write me a three-minute Drake song”, and all he would have to do is source a beat for it and perform the vocals.
However, by using some of the other software on this list, he may not even have to do that.
Mayk.it and Uberduck AI
On its website Mayk.it, Mayk. its creators call the software “a virtual AI studio”, which allows anyone in the world to become a musician. Mayk.it functions as a mobile app with a simple set of music studio tools that don’t require any deep knowledge of musical theory or production. The app features automated mixing tools, thousands of pre-made beats, and an AI-powered writing tool that can be used to suggest ideas and lyrics.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Ok, writing lyrics is one thing, but they still need an artist to perform them”, and with that thought, you’d be wrong. People have managed to make multiple rap songs with an AI called Uberduck, an artificial intelligence that utilises various celebrity voices. When this AI is paired with that of Mayk.it’s lyric writing intelligence or ChatGPT’s vast music knowledge, whole songs can be made and performed without the original artist ever getting involved.
Examples of songs that have used Uberduck AI’s voice intelligence
Although the AI admittedly doesn’t sound too coherent or clear a lot of the time, it’s still impressive that all these songs were made without any creative human input, besides arranging the AI components and providing a beat.
Artists like Drake and Young Thug, for example, whose voices are a bit harder to pin down due to their more complex vocals, might be in the clear for a few years yet, but for more simplistic and minimalistic artists like Playboi Carti, whose style is easier to emulate, it might become a huge problem in the future.
How Does AI Affect The Music Industry?
The music industry is very much a licensing and copyright industry as well as an entertainment industry, and without proper regulation, people could make thousands of dollars in Youtube revenue or streaming money using voices and cadences that aren’t theirs.
The problem for labels is that, as of right now, you can’t copyright or “sign” an artist’s voice. The idea of a label even “owning” an artist’s voice opens a whole minefield of moral and legal questions. Will labels have to open voice licensing departments, especially for AI usage, to make sure they aren’t losing money? Or, in a much darker scenario, will labels use these AI systems themselves to create music that cuts the artist out of the picture completely? I especially hope that this isn’t the case.
It’s hard to say how this will affect the music industry in the future because, as of June 2023, there is no regulatory standard procedure for how to deal with AI voices. A voice cannot become the property of a label, and you cannot “sign” somebody’s voice alone. The only options are for the labels to evolve with the times, for governments to regulate the usage of AI mimicking, or for the music to fall into the hands of people and away from big label corporations.
FAQs About AI Affect The Music Industry
Yes, the music industry has started embracing AI in various ways. AI technologies are being used in different aspects of the music industry, including composition, production, recommendation systems, and data analysis.
AI is not inherently a threat to music. It is a tool that can enhance and augment the creative process. While AI can generate music and mimic certain styles, it lacks the human emotions, experiences, and creativity that artists bring to their work. AI can be seen as a complementary tool rather than a replacement for human musicians.
AI cannot completely replace artists because music is not solely about technical skill or the ability to create pleasing sounds. Artistry involves personal expression, emotions, unique perspectives, storytelling, and the human connection between the artist and the audience. These aspects cannot be replicated by AI alone.
AI can assist musicians in several ways. It can aid in music composition by generating musical ideas, harmonies, or melodies based on existing patterns. AI can also be used for audio production tasks such as mixing, mastering, and sound synthesis.
AI is affecting artists in both positive and transformative ways. It provides new tools and possibilities for creativity, allowing artists to explore innovative sounds and styles. AI can streamline certain production processes, making them more efficient. However, it also raises questions and challenges regarding copyright, ownership, and the role of human creativity in an AI-driven landscape, as we have enåhaised in this article
The future of artificial intelligence in music holds significant potential. AI algorithms are likely to become more sophisticated, enabling them to generate music that is increasingly indistinguishable from human compositions. AI can empower musicians by offering new avenues for collaboration, personalized music experiences, and creative inspiration. However, ethical considerations, such as ensuring proper credit and maintaining the human element in music, will need to be addressed as AI continues to evolve in the industry.