Music Just Changed Forever

If you were to casually hear them on the radio, you might not even notice they’re AI generated, though you might roll your eyes at what the kids of today are listening to.

James O’Malley at Persuasion: Imagine if after Oppenheimer successfully detonated the first atomic bomb, the rest of the world had just shrugged its shoulders and carried on as normal. Because that’s what seems to have just happened in the entire field of human culture known as “music.”

A few weeks ago, a company called Suno released a new version of its AI-generated music app to the public. It works much like ChatGPT: You type in a prompt describing the song you’d like… and it creates it. The results are, in my view, absolutely astounding. So much so that I think it will be viewed by history as the end of one musical era and the start of the next one. Just as The Bomb reshaped all of warfare, we’ve reached the point where AI is going to reshape all of music.

For some reason, though, it hasn’t triggered an avalanche of think-pieces in the broadsheet press. It hasn’t had music writers raising the alarm. There are no panicked, viral tweets and Instagram posts from musicians worried about their livelihoods.

I think this is strange, as you only have to hear the results of what it can do to see why it matters. For example, here’s a summary of Donald Trump’s conviction in Manhattan… in the style of the broadway musical Hamilton:

(Note: This was made using “Custom” mode, where you provide the lyrics manually, and specify the genre you’d like. My top tip is to use ChatGPT to write the lyrics, and then paste them into Suno to turn them into music.)

More here.