The Implications of AI’s Ability to Generate Entire Songs on Demand for the Future of Music

The Implications of AI's Ability to Generate Entire Songs on Demand for the Future of Music

March saw the launch of two new generative AI music tools called Suno and Udio. These tools use AI to produce realistic songs based on short text prompts. As someone who has worked with creative computational tools for 15 years, I am amazed at the rapid pace of change in this field. The argument that AI can’t create “real” music like humans is more about social context than technical capability.

Suno and Udio have taken the concept of generating audio from text prompts to a new level. They generate song lyrics from text prompts, use a generative voice model to create vocals, and integrate them with generated music to produce a coherent song segment. The result is surprisingly emotional and can evoke the same joy as listening to a great band.

These tools mark the dawn of mainstream AI music culture. They offer new ways for people to engage with music and explore their creativity. It remains unclear whether users of these tools are creators or consumers, or if the distinction even matters.

As with any creative technology, as it becomes easier and cheaper to produce, it is used for more casual expression. AI music creation could become an everyday language, just like smartphones have made photography more accessible.

While these tools have their limitations, such as the lack of control, they still have value as a creative force. As a music producer, I don’t feel I have enough control to fully express myself with these tools, but they can be useful for generating raw materials for manipulation.

Using Suno, I was able to create dark techno grooves that I would use in a track. However, I also found myself just enjoying the results without feeling the need to add my own mark.

The use of AI in music blurs the line between production and consumption. Users of these tools may be considered more consumers of music AI experiences than creators of music AI works. This shift to generative music could lead to a decrease in engagement with traditional forms of music consumption.

It is important to consider the impact of AI music tools on existing creators’ intellectual property rights. However, even if these rights are protected, it may not address the larger cultural shift that AI music represents. Government AI policies should look beyond intellectual property issues and consider how music works socially to ensure vibrant and meaningful musical cultures for individuals and communities.

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