Artificial Intelligence

AI vs the World

18th January 2023
Sheryl Miles

ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is certainly a grabber of headlines. The dialogue-based AI bot, launched by OpenAI, rolled into our news feeds after it was said to be able to write practically anything from essays and news articles, without humans being able to tell the difference, to code and meal plans.

It is also suggestive that it could allow students to cheat at exams, and it even has the ability to interact with people at a conversational level, for example, it can answer follow-up questions, admit to its mistakes and reject inappropriate requests. Indeed, there is a sense that it thinks through a problem before offering a solution – much like a human.

In short, the Cloud based ChatGPT is the 21st-century version of a brain in a jar. Only the jar is the Cloud and the brain is artificially intelligent.

And it seems that this brain is causing all kinds of static once again – by creating lyrics in the style of artists, whether they like it or not.

The use of artificial intelligence to create music has been prevalent for a while now, however, YouTube star, Taryn Southern, recently grabbed headlines by co-writing her album with artificial intelligence software.

But whilst Taryn is clearly a fan of the technology, it is safe to say that Nick Cave of The Bad Seeds, is not.

The frontman, after being sent ChatGPT lyrics in the style of Nick Cave from a fan, penned an open letter back to the fan, via The Red Hand Files, stating that he “did not feel the same enthusiasm around this technology.”

The ChatGPT was guided to create lyrics in the style of the artist, and whilst the OpenAI bot has clearly paid attention to the singer’s style, the frontman further commented: "Songs arise out of suffering, by which I mean they are predicated upon the complex, internal human struggle of creation and, well, as far as I know, algorithms don't feel. Data doesn't suffer.

"It's a blood and guts business, here at my desk, that requires something of me to initiate the new and fresh idea. It requires my humanness."

But could there be more pressing undertones for this kind of technology. The ability for the bot to write song lyrics in the style of another artist isn’t a legal issue, but it does raise the question of ethics and copyright infringement. And if music can be created to an acceptable standard in the future, what does that mean for singers, writers and artists going forward.

In this same vein, Getty images, an American visual media company and supplier of stock images, editorial photography, video and music to businesses and consumers is taking legal action against Stability AI, a startup company that designs and implements an open AI tool to create images based on text input given.

Getty claim that Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion system had infringed the on the artists rights of use, after artists and photographers have said their work had been used without permission. Much like the concern of singers, artists and photographers have also voiced concerns that artificial intelligence is able to convincingly imitate their style and produce work within seconds.

Indeed, we have long seen the film industry create movies by way of CGI. However, human interaction of some kind will always be needed. And as good or as bad as the AI lyrics are, it will never replace the atmosphere of a person performing on stage – whether that’s a concert or a play or any other artistic endeavour.

Below are some of the lyrics produced by ChatGPT in the style of Nick Cave, however you can read the full song here:

Verse 1: In the depths of the night, I hear a call/A voice that echoes, through the hall/It's a siren's song, that pulls me in/Takes me to a place, where I can't begin

Chorus: I am the sinner, I am the saint/I am the darkness, I am the light/I am the hunter, I am the prey/I am the devil, I am the saviour

Verse 2: I walk the streets, with my head held high/I've got my demons, but I'll make them fly/I'll dance with the devil, and I'll play his game/I'll be the one, to call his name

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