Does AI Belong in Music?

By Caleb Rippee

Technology has historically been a huge tool that musicians have used to improve their craft. Developing new instruments, production techniques, mixing and mastering software, and plug-in capabilities are just a few ways that technology has enhanced and innovated the music industry. 

However, with the new developments in AI technology that have become easily accessible to the general public, people are beginning to question how far is too far. Many feel that the human element of music is in danger due to how easy it is now to use AI to replace human jobs in music. Some examples are album artwork, mastering songs, imitating certain voices, and many others. Each of these things is able to be done using free AI technology in a fraction of the time. 

So, upon considering all these things, it begs the question: Does AI belong in music? And if so, where do we draw the line between true human expression, and robotically generated noise?

Well, we have to think about the very core of what music is. Up until recently, music was something done by humans (sometimes animals) and used to express a certain feeling, story, or thought. However with AI, music can be created in seconds by a program by inputting certain prerequisites and details. While the mood and meaning of the music may be up to the human, the actual writing and musical aspect is done by AI. 

This is a controversial thing, some believe it’s positive because it can allow people who aren’t as musically inclined to have access to the ability to ‘create’ their own music. However some believe that it’s inhuman and unnatural. The subtle nuances of human emotion and expression are lost in translation and the resulting sound is cold, generic, and sometimes, downright wrong.

A recent trend has been utilizing AI to recreate deceased singers’ voices to sing any song of the user’s choosing. Many are deeply disturbed by this, calling it disrespectful, creepy, and disgusting. 

Only time will tell what kinds of things AI will be able to do, but it’s important to consider the repercussions and to consider how much humanity and personal expression we are sacrificing in the pursuit of technological advancement.

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