No, AI Doesn’t Mean Human-Made Music Is Doomed. Here’s Why.

by Alexander Crooke at Singularity Hub: One could argue AI is essentially a tool aimed at making our lives easier. Humans been been crafting such tools for a long time, both in music and nearly every other domain.

We’ve been using technology to play music since the invention of the gramophone. And arguments about human musicians versus machines are at least as old as the self-playing piano, which came into use in the early 20th century.

More recently, sampling, DJ-ing, autotune technology, and AI-based mastering and production software have continued to fan debates over artistic originality.

But the new AI developments are different. Anyone can create a new track in any existing genre, with minimal effort. They can add instruments, change the music’s “vibe,” and even choose a virtual singer to sing their lyrics.

Given the industry’s longstanding exploitation of artists—particularly with the rise of streaming (and Spotify’s chief executive claiming music is almost free to create)—it’s easy to see why the latest developments in AI are frightening some musicians.

Music Is a Very Human Thing

At the same time, these developments offer an opportunity to reflect on why people make music in the first place. We have long used music to tell our stories, to express ourselves and our humanity. These stories teach us, heal us, energize us, and help shape our identities.

Can AI music do this? Maybe. But it’s unlikely to be able to speak to the human experience in the same way a human can—partly because it doesn’t understand it the way we do.

It’s also unlikely to be able to create new works outside of existing musical paradigms, as it relies on algorithms taking from existing material. So, we’ll likely still need our imaginations to create new musical ideas.

It also helps to note that music being controlled by “algorithms” actually isn’t a new concept. Mainstream pop artists have long had their music written for them by industry “hit makers” who use specific formulas.

More here.