Artificial Intelligence Challenges the Music Industry

Published March 3, 2024

In St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, an iconic figure in the local music scene has brought attention to a peculiar development: songs created in mere seconds by an AI algorithm. Despite the polished production, proper drumming, and spot-on vocals, there's something not quite right with these AI-composed tunes titled "It Could Be Worse" and "Tales of The Atlantic."

A Critical Ear

Music veteran Bob Hallett, known from the celebrated folk-rock band Great Big Sea, listened to the AI-crafted pieces and noted discrepancies. The country singing felt misplaced, and the lyrics seemed to awkwardly miss the rhyme. His scoring of the AI music at a 2 out of 10 reflects his sense of something essential missing from the algorithm's output.

The Technology Behind the Tunes

Advancements in AI technology are rapid, and the quality of its productions is ever-improving. AI tools such as Suno are capable of generating complete musical compositions using text prompts, and while not yet perfect, their potential is steadily growing. However, the AI has not managed to convincingly replicate specific artists' styles, and the generated songs lack the authenticity of Newfoundland's renowned bands.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

The data used to train these AI programs is critical and can sometimes land companies in hot water if they don't have the necessary permissions from original artists. The debate over fair use and artist compensation continues to be a complex issue in the age of AI-generated content.

The Future of AI Music

While AI music may soon become a go-to for advertising jingles, industry experts like Hallett maintain that real emotional connection in music comes from human artists, not computers. AI might be rapidly advancing, but when it comes to conveying genuine stories and emotions within music, humans still hold the key.

AI, music, emotion