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AI and the future of the 'Artist' vs the 'Creator' - TADay Talk Radio Podcast

Daniel James

A Nice Guy
Hey all,

I don't believe I ever shared one of these here but I thought, given some of the recent discussions here, it might be a nice one to introduce you all to the concept. the TADay Podcast works like a talk radio show where we have a topic, I put forth a premice, and my opinions on it. Then viewers call into the show live to share their views. Its a fun concept and people seem to get quite into the discussion.

Anyways the topic for this one is AI, and how it will turn the concept of an artist (that being someone who creates art in a field with artistic craft) vs a creator (a person who uses all the arts to create a singular artistic vision)

My views on the topic are covered in depth in the video so I wont type it all out. Please do feel free to engage in the discussion here or on there if you would like.


-DJ
 

Mike Fox

Never trust the living
Really cool topic!

So, the main argument seems to be that there will be so many clones in such a short amount of time that it will be nearly impossible to identify and give credit to the original artist?

That’s interesting, because people generally don’t start copying other musicians or artists until after the artist’s unique sound has already been established, and that usually doesn’t happen overnight.

I’ll use the band Korn and the Nu Metal genre as an example.

Korn had their own style, their own sound, and it wasn’t until their second album where you started seeing cookie cutter bands trying to be just like them. Korn paved the way for all those Nu Metal bands, but it wasn’t an overnight response.

So that’s the catch. Sure, AI is going to be able to make countless copies, but it usually takes some time for people to realize what the next big thing is, and I don’t think AI will be able to predict that (it will probably be creating new and popular genres all on its own though!).

Furthermore, there’s a human element that AI is really going to struggle with.

For example, Kurt Cobain had one of the most distinctive singing voices of all time, and that was a huge part of his biological makeup.

Even if AI is programmed to perfectly imitate his voice, it’s still only an imitation, and AI may still be dependent on humans for that source of originality and inspiration.

Again, AI will probably be self generating, and will be making music that humans had never heard before, but I certainly don’t think that will make the human element obsolete.

I could even see people getting tired of AI generated music, the same way some people got sick of digital music and went back to vinyls, or even how a lot of guitarists get sick of using digital emulations and go back to using tube amps.

One thing is for sure, composer jobs are out the window.
 
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Daniel James

Daniel James

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Really cool topic!

So, the main argument seems to be that there will be so many clones in such a short amount of time that it will be nearly impossible to identify and give credit to the original artist?

That’s interesting, because people generally don’t start copying other musicians or artists until after the artist’s unique sound has already been established, and that usually doesn’t happen overnight.

I’ll use the band Korn and the Nu Metal genre as an example.

Korn had their own style, their own sound, and it wasn’t until their second album where you started seeing cookie cutter bands trying to be just like them. Korn paved the way for all those Nu Metal bands, but it wasn’t an overnight response.

So that’s the catch. Sure, AI is going to be able to make countless copies, but it usually takes some time for people to realize what the next big thing is, and I don’t think AI will be able to predict that (it will probably be creating new and popular genres all on its own though!).

Furthermore, there’s a human element that AI is really going to struggle with.

For example, Kurt Cobain had one of the most distinctive singing voices of all time, and that was a huge part of his biological makeup.

Even if AI is programmed to perfectly imitate his voice, it’s still only an imitation, and AI may still be dependent on humans for that source of originality and inspiration.

Again, AI will probably be self generating, and will be making music that humans had never heard before, but I certainly don’t think that will make the human element obsolete.

I could even see people getting tired of AI generated music, the same way some people got sick of digital music and went back to vinyls, or even how a lot of guitarists get sick of using digital emulations and go back to using tube amps.

One thing is for sure, composer jobs are out the window.
I think you underestimate the saturation point. There will be a point where the average person can use music making AI. With technological advancement its inviteble. When they can do that, its no longer about trends being established. The second someone hears something they like they will be able to make something similar that suits their needs more. Due to how easy it will be, the weeks it would take for imitations to appear would be much shorter, hours, minutes even.

So the saturation of people doing the same thing I think would just be too vast to the point you wouldn't know where the original came from because you would be more likely to hear a copy first.

Hopefully you catch my point. I mean look at art breeder. All of these faces look amazing, but the second someone makes something different and cool, its is replicated.

As a visual example notice how the original image (the big one) is copied but adjusted slightly. This is what the future of AI music will be. Now if I was to present one of those small variations to you first, would you have been able to tell which one was the original? Screen Shot 2021-06-07 at 1.47.49 PM.png Screen Shot 2021-06-07 at 1.48.18 PM.png

-DJ
 
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Daniel James

Daniel James

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Art is process not product.
Right now. But when there is no value in the process is it still art?

Also I get the sense of self satisfaction when one drops a 'truth bomb' but it doesn't really further the discussion without a bit of extrapolation on what you mean in that and how it applies (or in your case not) to the discussion on AI. Art is a process not a product? what do you actually mean by that and is it compatible with my above question about the process itself no longer having no value.

-DJ
 
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Trash Panda

Clueless nitwit
One thing that gets lost in the idea behind AI and machine learning is it requires human input to tell the AI if the end result of its analysis and output is good or not.

So unless someone figures out how to get reliable crowd sourced machine learning verification, AI has a long way to go before it can evolve fast enough in subjective fields like music to get things right enough.
 
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Daniel James

Daniel James

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One thing that gets lost in the idea behind AI and machine learning is it requires human input to tell the AI if the end result of its analysis and output is good or not.

So unless someone figures out how to get reliable crowd sourced machine learning verification, AI has a long way to go before it can evolve fast enough in subjective fields like music to get things right enough.
Once it has a large enough sample set (an I am talking over years) of music that works, it wouldn't be too huge a leap of logic to take the thought from that point, to it being able to make a pretty solid guess as to things we like and don't like.

That will still be down to subjective opinion of course. If the AI writes a death metal track and you like bubblegum pop you wont all of a sudden like it because an AI made it. But an AI will absolutely be able to listen to the millions of genre tracks (by that I mean tracks in a genre where they adhere to unwritten 'rules' in what consitutes that genre, ie metal has drums guitar harsh vocals, riffs, pop has electronic beats, airy or crystal vocals, a catchy lead line etc) and be able to learn which ones became popular and what characteristics they share.

Given a few years I think, particularly in genres with 'rules', it will be able to know what we like or not. Just based on the statistical data of what tracks within that genre get the most attention. Very easy data to track and study for an AI.

-DJ
 

Trash Panda

Clueless nitwit
I do not disagree that it won’t get there eventually. I’m just not convinced it will be any time soon as long as human input is required for each and every checkpoint of the AI to refine its algorithm.
 
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Daniel James

Daniel James

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I do not disagree that it won’t get there eventually. I’m just not convinced it will be any time soon as long as human input is required for each and every checkpoint of the AI to refine its algorithm.
Oh for sure, Sorry I thought you were implying the negative. But you are absolutely correct! the biggest issue about all this is the timeframe.

We don't know where its going but we know it ends with no jobs.

-DJ
 

Trash Panda

Clueless nitwit
Oh for sure, Sorry I thought you were implying the negative. But you are absolutely correct! the biggest issue about all this is the timeframe.

We don't know where its going but we know it ends with no jobs.

-DJ
Sure, but that could be said about every industry eventually. At some point we’ll all be working the Titan salt mines to satisfy our Google Algorithm overlords in their endless war against the Apple AI Consortium.
 

Mike Fox

Never trust the living
I think you underestimate the saturation point. There will be a point where the average person can use music making AI. With technological advancement its inviteble. When they can do that, its no longer about trends being established. The second someone hears something they like they will be able to make something similar that suits their needs more. Due to how easy it will be, the weeks it would take for imitations to appear would be much shorter, hours, minutes even.

So the saturation of people doing the same thing I think would just be too vast to the point you wouldn't know where the original came from because you would be more likely to hear a copy first.

Hopefully you catch my point. I mean look at art breeder. All of these faces look amazing, but the second someone makes something different and cool, its is replicated.

As a visual example notice how the original image (the big one) is copied but adjusted slightly. This is what the future of AI music will be. Now if I was to present one of those small variations to you first, would you have been able to tell which one was the original? View attachment 51431 View attachment 51432

-DJ
I think what you're saying is true, at least on a small scale.

But on a macro level, everything that's been copied in music has been copied because of the giants that came before us, and their contributions were so incredibly impactful and influential that it shaped the very perspective of musicians, and pop culture as a collective, and it's that impact that motivates others to follow in their footsteps.

I'm saying this needs to happen FIRST before people even know what to copy. Otherwise, where does the motivation lay?

The average person already has all of the tools to make music with no experience required (loops, phrase libs, etc.), yet that doesn't really seem to stand in the way of trends forming. Maybe I'm missing the correlation?

But my hope in humanity is pretty bleak, especially with the way social media (Tik Tok and like) is giving fame and fortune to people for doing the dumbest shit. It's the social influencer that's going to have the biggest impact on the masses, not some profound musician, and I think AI is going to play a huge hand in that role.
 
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Daniel James

Daniel James

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Sure, but that could be said about every industry eventually. At some point we’ll all be working the Titan salt mines to satisfy our Google Algorithm overlords in their endless war against the Apple AI Consortium.
So we shouldn't have the discussion at all? I don't get your logic. Its too far away to care or its going to happen so why bother discussing it.....with the alternative being? head in the sand?

Yes it will happen to everyone, but we can adapt to the world as it changes. That is the point of this discussion. Just because its going to happen everywhere doesn't mean we shouldn't be addressing our small corner of it ourselves. I just don't get that logic.

-DJ
 

Mike Fox

Never trust the living
Another point I would like to make,

Let's say that the market is so saturated that you can't make heads or tails of who the original artist is.

It seems like we could formulate a new system that would ensure credit, like some sort of copyright system on steroids lol!

For real though, if it ever became that much of an issue, I'd like to think that we would have some system in place to counteract the murky waters.
 
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Daniel James

Daniel James

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I think what you're saying is true, at least on a small scale.

But on a macro level, everything that's been copied in music has been copied because of the giants that came before us, and their contributions were so incredibly impactful and influential that it shaped the very perspective of musicians, and pop culture as a collective, and it's that impact that motivates others to follow in their footsteps.

I'm saying this needs to happen FIRST before people even know what to copy. Otherwise, where does the motivation lay?

The average person already has all of the tools to make music with no experience required (loops, phrase libs, etc.), yet that doesn't really seem to stand in the way of trends forming. Maybe I'm missing the correlation?

But my hope in humanity is pretty bleak, especially with the way social media (Tik Tok and like) is giving fame and fortune to people for doing the dumbest shit. It's the social influencer that's going to have the biggest impact on the masses, not some profound musician, and I think AI is going to play a huge hand in that role.
But we are already losing connection to the 'elites' of music. Back when the music labels controlled the industry we put value in a smaller amount of artists, because they were all you had access to. They were able to shift the landscape because of a lack of options.

Slowly as time has progressed and we have access to ALL the music in the world, we are starting to move away from entire world shifts on quite the same scale. For example how many 'famous' artists are there these days who have seemingly huge and successful careers, that you just simple have never even heard of before.

Thats with technology being at the level it currently is. Yes we have loops and presets but you still need a degree of craft to turn that into music. When its 'sliders' or some easier UI element I cant think of yet, even your nan could write music, then all bets are off. The second someone hears something they like, they will copy it, and that (I think) will propagate on such scale and so rapidly that the credit of originality will be lost in the ocean of oversaturation. There will be no personal incentive or value in being original if AI can immediately imitate. (of course we are not discussing legal issues in this discussion because that would make it to unwieldy to discuss but I am aware this would also play a part)

You can't plan for the future by applying todays logic to it. 2020 looks little like 2010 and even less like 2000 or 1990. Given hindsight, would it have been prudent to be planning for 2020 with the tech of 2010? Now think what tech we will have in 2032. I mean we didn't even have iphones until 2007. Imagine planning for the iPhone world with the tech of the 90's 😂

imagine In 1997 saying to someone within the next 10 years your camera, photos, entire music library, the internet, your email, your calendar etc etc will all be available in your pocket without wires. It would be hard to see. So in discussion I think its usually more useful for forward planning to assume the technology will be more powerful and be more available sooner. Because previous trends put us right in an expontial technological advancement curve.

-DJ
 
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Daniel James

Daniel James

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Another point I would like to make,

Let's say that the market is so saturated that you can't make heads or tails of who the original artist is.

It seems like we could formulate a new system that would ensure credit, like some sort of copyright system on steroids lol!

For real though, if it ever became that much of an issue, I'd like to think that we would have some system in place to counteract the murky waters.
I did mention that in my previous post about legality. But look at the problem in your situation. If people can legally guard their work with an AI, there will be a limit to how close you get. And someone will be able to immediately create something on the limit but legal. Until we reach a point where there is no more ground to build on, so to speak. Then what.

Its gunna get bumpy!

-DJ
 

Macrawn

Senior Member
I've thought a lot about this idea before and I agree with your position. I think people are compartmentalized right now in certain fields,
but it won't be long until we start getting artists that when we look at them we will look at them through a variety of work, not just say visual art. It will be creations in a range of mediums that come together as a message, or integrated creations. I think we will be looking at great creators eventually without the label of visual artist or musician.

Reminds me of say da Vinci who is recognized for a range of creations. People like that are generally not recognized much today because you have to be at the high end of one field.

I think that AI is great for mimicking what already exists. It's impossible for it to invent a genre (at least now maybe not in a couple decades) because a new genre is born out of a situation or context. Artists are out in front of that and see the context or meaning before other people do and create a genre (basically I interpret a genre as people trying to emulate or copy an idea). It can't be programmed yet into AI if it isn't in existence yet. And if a project wants to be similar to something that already exists AI is going to be able to do that kind of thing no problem.

But I do think creators can take these tools and create innovations and new genres out of them by tying the work together into that context of the human condition or vision that is much more specific than those generalizations that AI can mimic right now or in the near future.

Experts at the high end will continue to exist but it will be harder and harder to get there.

I saw someone testing out this program that writes lyrics for you, and the truth is it nailed like most EDM, and I love you, or my girlfriend dumped me songs perfectly. So many songs are just generalizations of these feelings without any deep context. So tiring and predictable and mainstream.

I guess that is also the side effect of the AI. There will be loads more trash created that has to be weeded out somehow. But perhaps it will also raise the standard of professional work too because if AI can do it alone without a good creator behind it, it will be of zero value.
 

Mike Fox

Never trust the living
But we are already losing connection to the 'elites' of music. Back when the music labels controlled the industry we put value in a smaller amount of artists, because they were all you had access to. They were able to shift the landscape because of a lack of options.

Slowly as time has progressed and we have access to ALL the music in the world, we are starting to move away from entire world shifts on quite the same scale. For example how many 'famous' artists are there these days who have seemingly huge and successful careers, that you just simple have never even heard of before.

Thats with technology being at the level it currently is. Yes we have loops and presets but you still need a degree of craft to turn that into music. When its 'sliders' or some easier UI element I cant think of yet, even your nan could write music, then all bets are off. The second someone hears something they like, they will copy it, and that (I think) will propagate on such scale and so rapidly that the credit of originality will be lost in the ocean of oversaturation. There will be no personal incentive or value in being original if AI can immediately imitate. (of course we are not discussing legal issues in this discussion because that would make it to unwieldy to discuss but I am aware this would also play a part)

You can't plan for the future by applying todays logic to it. 2020 looks little like 2010 and even less like 2000 or 1990. Given hindsight, would it have been prudent to be planning for 2020 with the tech of 2010? Now think what tech we will have in 2032. I mean we didn't even have iphones until 2007. Imagine planning for the iPhone world with the tech of the 90's 😂

imagine In 1997 saying to someone within the next 10 years your camera, photos, entire music library, the internet, your email, your calendar etc etc will all be available in your pocket without wires. It would be hard to see. So in discussion I think its usually more useful for forward planning to assume the technology will be more powerful and be more available sooner. Because previous trends put us right in an expontial technological advancement curve.

-DJ
Please stand-by. I’m doing the dishes right now and i need to get a beer. :grin:
 

Trash Panda

Clueless nitwit
So we shouldn't have the discussion at all? I don't get your logic. Its too far away to care or its going to happen so why bother discussing it.....with the alternative being? head in the sand?

Yes it will happen to everyone, but we can adapt to the world as it changes. That is the point of this discussion. Just because its going to happen everywhere doesn't mean we shouldn't be addressing our small corner of it ourselves. I just don't get that logic.

-DJ
I think you’re jumping to conclusions or I’m explaining this poorly. I’m not arguing with you about having the discussion. I’m just not concerned about synthesized AI being an “our lifetime problem” because of the realities and limitations of AI and machine learning requiring human input to understand context. If someone figures out how to program contextual understanding without requiring a human to say the output is right or wrong, then that all goes out the window.

I think we’re more likely within our lifetimes to see a breakthrough in neural mapping that allows humans to upload their own neural map into a machine, giving us AI that is artificial in it’s an intelligence powered by electronic chips instead of mushy grey brain matter, but based on the minds of actual humans rather than artificial in learning from nothing.

Like John Williams uploading his brain and having that map be able to output the score to some far flung Star Wars sequel long after he has left this plane of existence.
 
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chocobitz825

Senior Member
This only matters to the business of music, not the art of music. People can keep creating great music and be appreciated for it. you probably just won’t make much money from it.
 
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