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Are We Ready For The AI Future Of Music?

Artificial Intelligence applications are disrupting the music industry at a staggering pace. It raises many legal, ethical, and philosophical questions—and a potentially bleak future.

An AI-generated image of a robot singing.
«A robot is singing in a recording studio, photorealistic» by Photoshop AI

It was an earthquake not seen before. In late 2022, OpenAI publicly launched ChatGPT. It became the fastest-growing consumer application ever, attracting 100 million active users in just two months—a mindboggling accomplishment. In comparison, it took popular social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram nine months and 2.5 years, respectively, to reach that number of users.

Artificial intelligence is here to stay, and we can hardly foresee how it will disrupt professions and society. However, the exponential improvements we see frighten even those closest to the technology's development. As a result, many leading experts call for a stop of development—or at least a slow-down.

But beneath the public hype around image generators like Dall-E or Midjourney, AI applications like SoundRaw are already impacting the music industry significantly. It seems like the music business is experiencing its next «Napster moment»—but on steroids.

AI Already Drives The Industry Today

It's worth noting that artificial intelligence has already heavily driven the music business for some years. As a critical actor, Spotify has implemented arguably the best curation and recommendation engines in the streaming business. These forms of AI that we also know from social media platforms are generally described as Curation AI.

And it continues to iterate on its AI integrations, launching a new AI DJ in February. And it won't be the end of the road for features in the coming months—especially now basically the whole world can create plugins with ChatGPT.

Curation AI also impacts how songs are written and performed. In contemporary pop songs, lengthy intros are gone; you need to hook people as quickly as possible. The skip button to the next track is near.

However, while Curation AI comes with its own challenges (but not necessarily in music), generative AI, also called Creation AI, like ChatGPT, is an entirely different beast. Vall-E, for example, is a voice-generating AI that can replicate a voice from just a 3-second snippet.

Now, anybody can create songs with the voice of a famous artist—dead or alive. And yes, there are a lot out there already. Some of them are fun, like Eminem rapping about cats.

Others are outstanding, like the fake song Winters Cold with an AI-generated voice of Drake.

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