Technology and its advancement is good for humanity. This is something we are now born to believe. We grow up believing that our expensive electronic devices are the most important things in our life. There are too many people out in today’s world that when you ask them what item they cherish the most, they will respond with their iPhone. The one thing that dictates their life is a tiny rectangular screen that makes some noises. As people, we are becoming dependent on technology. This is an extremely dangerous trend because when we start to lose ourselves in this technology – we do just that. Lose ourselves. We lose what truly makes us human – those human tendencies that makes us us. And it is because of this technology that is causing us to do so.
Recently, there was an article posted discussing the possibility of artificial intelligence being able to create “the perfect hit” so-to-speak. Basically, the article outlines how artificial intelligence is used already in the music industry today. AI has been used as a tool in the music industry from sometime now, helping out the likes of artists like David Bowie and the Beatles to help create “perfect” lyrics and melodies. Most of the AI systems that the music industry relies on analyze large amounts of data – source material that you input into the software. The AI will then analyze the data and find patterns – essentially coding your music for you instead of writing.
The author of the article did his own investigating into how easy one of these softwares would be to use. He was curious to see if you needed more than a basic knowledge of music, for example if you needed to be able to read chords/sheet music or understand music theory. He experimented with a software called “Amper,” which just has you (the producer) pick a genre and a mood. It wasn’t longer than a minute before the software produced 30 seconds of audio that sounded, in his words, pleasant. Scary stuff, no?
AI and technology is beginning to attack the very qualities that make us human. Creativity. Inspiration. Emotion. These are all things expressed through forms of art, like music, and are done so by humans. Expressing yourself through art is as old as time itself, but with the progression of AI in the music industry it seems as though the future of music is in jeopardy. How is an algorithm supposed to tell me what “sounds good?” How is a bunch of code supposed to elicit some sort of emotional reaction or contain an expression of emotion when the key difference between humans and artificial intelligence is emotion and feeling.
The fact of the matter should be plain and simple. AI and music do not mix. You cannot mix genuine creativity and originality with an algorithm. It does not work. While I am not saying that you can’t try to create a song or melody with one of these softwares and be successful in doing so, but that it is not a form of art or even music for that matter. In order to create music, there must be an expression of emotion, in any form. That can’t happen from a computer. It has to come from the heart.
What does this mean for the future? Could AI’s potentially take over the music industry, and effectively render humans and their creative spirits useless. At that point, what’s the purpose of humanity? Technology is great, but where does it stop? Will we reach a point where the world won’t need humans – and artificial intelligence will be able to operate on its own. After all, humans are the ones destroying the planet, not saving it.
In terms of the music industry, and the future of music, what this could mean for artists is render their talent, their gifts utterly useless. By implementing these softwares that can literally code a progression and pattern of chords that sounds “pleasant” you take away the art of human creativity and originality. With AI there is no “outside the box” there is only staying within the system it was built on. With artists you can have originality and creativity that genuinely evoke senses of emotion that you cannot possibly reproduce through a code.
I believe that artists can use the technology at our disposal today for good, to share their music, and have their message heard way easier than ever before. The way technology has connected the globe has honestly caused a lot more harm than good. It caused a lot of separation and polarization amongst our world. Music can be a way to mend it all. Start putting the pieces of the world back together.