Artificial Intelligence and music creativity

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cyberdad
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09 Jun 2022, 8:32 pm

The emergence of mainstream popular music in the 1950s rose on the back of appropriating music/dance and other artforms from various sources (this has been discussed elsewhere in the forum).

In 2022 we are now reaping the consequences of this mass appropriation as popular music is beginning to sound much the same to the general public. This has implications to both bands, musicians and record companies who rely on fresh creative content that they can't come up with new sounds without copying earlier music (giving rise to more cases in copyright infringement).

One great example is the sudden rise in popularity of old music in streaming platforms, social media and cable TV which is unfamiliar to the younger generation who completely assume the songs are brand new and none the wiser.

Example 1 - Tik Tok viral dance videos in 2018 - 2020 used a song called "American Boy" by Estelle and Kanye West published in 2008. The song suddenly shot back up in the charts and appeared on Spotify for the first time despite being 12 years old

Example 2 - The number 1 Netflix drama is Season 4 of Stranger Things. Younger fans of the hit series are hearing Kate Bush's 1985 hit "Running Up that Hill" have sent this song up the charts and again making it appear in Spotify top songs for the first time despite the song being 37 years old!!

To get around this creative malaise in popular music, musicians, song writers, record companies and music producers are now employing artificial intelligence to create new sounds.
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... g-1146444/
https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/ai-music-future/

Computer generated tracks mean that estates for dead musicians can now bring back deceased musicians voices in new songs but also create brand new songs/music.

An argument here is
1. that computers will never replace artists writing meaningful lyrics but...
2. it will mean the death knell for artists and musicians and song writers

Me personally I don't care, I find nothing existential or meaningful in song lyrics...I just like the sounds. I like the idea my personal AI android can synthesise existing music/sound and come with new music in my home. I don't need to support multimillion dollar companies anymore.



shlaifu
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09 Jun 2022, 8:49 pm

That's fine, but AI creating art - music, images, stories, animations, etc.- will mean that human made art will be appreciated less. Artists will no longer be able to make a living, unable to compete with zero-marginal-cost AI art. (Once the network is trained, new artworks are created practically cost free).

But who will have the money to create the AI and train the network and rent the service to you? I bet it will be facebook, google or some other billion dollar tech company.


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1986
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09 Jun 2022, 9:15 pm

As someone who is using machine learning (a type of AI) for various creative purposes, including music, it has opened up a multitude of ways to renew music, but there are two fundamental problems: 1) It relies on existing input, and isn't capable (yet) of generalized intelligence and thus to understand exactly why a certain song lyric combined with certain instruments produces a meaningful track to humans, and 2) AI doesn't have intent. Humans want to do something and go on to do it because they have will. A contemporary neural network can imitate humans and produce content that is at least to some degree meaningful to us, but it does so because we ask it to do so, not because it wants to do it itself. These problems will perhaps be solved in the future, and that probably gives rise to a "hard intelligence" that we would have no choice but to call equal or even superior to our own consciousness.

Speaking of pop, artists can currently get ideas for new sounds from AI through, for example, mashups, either of songs or genres. Machine learning is good at creating unusual combinations of music, most of it useless but some of it carrying the seed to a meaningful experience. As for bringing back the voices of dead artists, I personally think this is just a uninteresting novelty. Early electronic music had a similar period in the 1960s where artists would apply synthesizers to create classical music (=Bach with sawtooth waves), aptly described by someone as "using a Jumbojet to go to the grocery store".

Speaking of music in a much broader sense, AI has immense potential but we're currently using it in a very narrow manner to create something that seems "human". To most AI researchers, this is not very interesting. It is, on the other hand, much more interesting to explore what kind of music the AI itself wants to listen to, in the same way artists in the 1990-2000s explored the tools of electronic music themselves to produce songs that were impossible to compose with traditional instruments.

As for more practical applications, AI is already great at creating moods and ambiences, so I'm sure mundane things like BGM, supermarket jingles, headphone music at work, and other kinds of muzak will soon be an AI-only field. As for pop musicians, I think they'll be separated into two fields, the first continuing to rely on human creativity and proficiency to make music, and the second basically being music engineers who operate AI to create new songs. There will be some overlap and each will learn from the other, but I think the key thing is to remember that good music is created with the intent of communicating something and AI can't do that, because it has no intent. We will operate the algorithms, but we will do so not in order to create "novelty", but meaning. Otherwise it's just a truckload of empty sounds.



auntblabby
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10 Jun 2022, 3:52 am

nothing new under the sun, back in the analog days, one JSB was known to borrow and reuse melodies including his own.



cyberdad
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10 Jun 2022, 3:58 am

Computers already generate art. Computers can be creative if you give the program scope.



klanka
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10 Jun 2022, 4:28 am

I hate reggae, so what if I made a music AI that accidentally produced the best reggae music ever. I would delete the music file and retrain the AI to produce something else :D
So some type of human input is going to be there...for now...



shlaifu
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18 Jun 2022, 8:22 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Computers already generate art. Computers can be creative if you give the program scope.


There's a treacherous similarity in yhe word art, denoting both capital A Art and functional or decorative imagery.
I propose to separate these by calling them Art, Design, and Kitsch. The fields overlap, but Art has, over the course of the 20thbcentury, mutated over and over again and is now very hard to define. However, it usually involves some sort of clever insight, and it need not involve images it may well be lacking anything aesthetic, as in: it may not involve an object that can be experienced with the senses (like conceptual art).
AI has no real chance here, on its own, except as a self reflective piece on the creative process. This artwork has already been created and sold, a few years ago - the first painting by a computer. Art critics are not currently looking for more of it, unless it can add something to the Art discourse.

Design is function-oriented, as well as geared towards aesthetics. This is where craftsmanship is involved, where creativity follows a prompt, where the range of possible solutions is already clamped by a presupposed demand.
AI will absolutely year through this industry, where it doesn't matter who the artist is and what he/she thought while maling a piece, where all ot needs to do is fullfill its function as a sketch, a piece of concept art, something for others to work with.

And Kitsch. Kitsch isn't really about elaborate aesthetics, or about function. It's for an audience presumably without the education or intelligence or class for an aesthetic judgement. AI can do that already, actually, most of what it churns out seems to fall under this category. It's the all-greyscale painting with one intensely coloured object to grab your attention, the non-offensive camvas print photo you can buy at ikea, the smallest common denominator. This market has been cornered by stock footage services and instagram for over a decade now, and it only works by producing quantity. It's perfect for AI art.

So, paradoxically, I can only see fine Art surviving this on a large scale, simply because ot has abandoned images as its be all and end all already 6 or 7 decades ago. Or rather it has moved on, from the image as art-work to the image of the artist as it's main product.


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cyberdad
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18 Jun 2022, 9:16 pm

The inflation of Kitsch and it's associated artforms appear to be linked to the ability to generate art on a mass scale hitherto unknown to the masses prior to the modern era.

Music, visual art and even sensory art (we have venues that provide sensory rooms for smell and touch) have become both entertainment and marketing props.

Yes there will always be a market for refined artform generated by human hands and human creativity. There is an emotional element that is difficult to replace by AI when you examine a Van Gogh linked to his own personal struggles/mental breakdown that people want a taste/experience.



auntblabby
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18 Jun 2022, 10:23 pm

i was called a $#!+heel because i admitted i loved Kinkaid "paintings of light." i would love an algorithm that let me make such drawings on my own.



Fnord
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19 Jun 2022, 10:26 am

Programming an AI to generate melodies is simple. Generating melodies that people will like is another matter entirely.

Meaningful lyrics? Has anyone listened to Beck’s “Loser” lately?


”In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey
Butane in my veins, and I'm out to cut the junkie
With the plastic eyeballs, spray paint the vegetables
Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose
Kill the headlights and put it in neutral
Stock car flaming with the loser in the cruise control
Baby's in Reno with the vitamin D
Got a couple of couches, sleep on the loveseat”



While it may have meter, it does not always rhyme. Thus, Fnord’s Hypothesis of Musical Composition is born.

Any sufficiently well-programmed AI is capable of producing music that is indistinguishable from that of a cutting-edge human artist.

Whether or not people actually like it is another matter entirely.



cyberdad
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19 Jun 2022, 5:21 pm

Fnord wrote:
Whether or not people actually like it is another matter entirely.[/color]


Put a Britney or Tay Tay to sing the computer generated lyrics and nobody will care. If Harry Styles does a number generated on some AI, again it's Harry Styles. People like the pop=star. They don't really care about the song writer.



auntblabby
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19 Jun 2022, 7:09 pm

no accounting for taste.



cyberdad
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20 Jun 2022, 2:52 am

auntblabby wrote:
no accounting for taste.


mass appeal > taste.....



auntblabby
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20 Jun 2022, 3:50 am

the taste equivalent of a chick fil-a.



cyberdad
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20 Jun 2022, 3:51 am

auntblabby wrote:
the taste equivalent of a chick fil-a.


Hasn't reached our shores yet :lol:



auntblabby
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20 Jun 2022, 3:53 am

cyberdad wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
the taste equivalent of a chick fil-a.


Hasn't reached our shores yet :lol:

y'aint missin' a blessed thing other than indigestion.