Artificial Music

As A.I. gets a foothold, are we losing our footing?


3/22/20232 min read

Artificial Intelligence, or A.I., seems to be everywhere now. It will create pictures, write essays, write poems, make lifelike avatars that are so realistic that you have probably seen one today online and didn't even realize it. Artificial intelligence is not new, in fact, the first A.I. was developed in 1955 and it was called Logic Theorist. It was developed to solve math problems. It solved 38 of the first 52 theorems it was given.

With new advancements, A.I. is easily available to everyone. All that you have to do enter a few words and the platform you are using will spit out what you asked for in seconds.

After experimenting with artificial "art" and text, I decided I wanted to explore the world of music making. I am not a musician, and I don't play an instrument. For people like me, all you have to know how to do is an internet search and many websites will be listed. Some are easier than others. Some have complicated and busy pages that you have to navigate. I found one that was easy to sign up for and gave me a quick tour of how to use the site.

From there all I did was answer a few questions about myself, which in hindsight, was not necessary as it appears that I have access to all styles of music that the website offers. Once that was done, I picked a style or genre and subgenre, the beats per minute, then the key. Before I knew it, I was a "musician". It really was that easy. The style I picked was in the synthwave world. Not because I was showing disrespect to those artists, I am friends with a lot of them here in the Twin Cities, but because I can't sing, and I don't write lyrics. With this whole experiment, I decided that I wanted to generate three five-track EP's. I would make them available and be upfront that I made this music using A.I. so people could decide whether or not they wanted this type of music in their library.

As I finished the first five tracks and uploaded them to Bandcamp, I decided that I would send the EP to a few artists I know to get their opinion. I was a little nervous sharing this with them because I wasn't sure how they would react to someone doing this. I am very aware of the work that they put into their music. The time, the creativity, everything. Some of the responses I got back ranged from, "Ha nice :-)", to, "It would be interesting to try incorporating both human and A.I. elements into an album.".

That seemed to be all I needed to continue on with this experiment. All in all, if I would have sat down and did all three EP's at once, including the album art, it would have taken me less than three hours to complete this project.

So now what? Well, I think I might explore one full-length album. I have already gone through the steps of protecting my royalties and signed up with ASCAP and their free artist tool. I have also signed up with CD Baby for digital distribution. I may or may not continue this. The point was to see how easy it would be, and I found out that it was easier than expected. For those wondering, the website I used will also create singer/songwriter music, coffee shop music, hip-hop, lofi, and many others. This is not just and electronic music thing. If someone wanted to, they could generate the music, the lyrics, album artwork, and an avatar using nothing but A.I.