AI-written Songs Catch Music Industry Off Guard

by Brian Wilbur ‘24

In a world where artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly prevalent, the music industry recently discovered that it is not immune to its influence. Recently, several AI-generated songs have been released that sound almost identical to real artists, such as Drake, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, and more.

The technology behind these AI-generated songs is based on machine-learning algorithms that have been trained on massive amounts of data, including everything from lyrics to vocal styles and even the artist’s individual quirks. This data is then used to create new songs that mimic the style and sound of the original artist, producing tracks that are so convincing that they are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of AI-generated music. Critics argue that it’s just another example of technology replacing human creativity and that the music industry is losing something vital when machines rather than humans create music. Others worry that the increasing use of AI in the music industry could lead to repetitive styles and sounds, with all music sounding the same, lacking diversity, and lacking individuality that makes it so interesting. The music industry has done its best to remove AI-written songs from all platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, etc. In the case of the AI song that impersonated Drake, the song was removed because it violated copyright laws. According to “Universal Music Group said platforms had a legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of services harming artists.”

Whether you love the idea of AI music or hate it, AI-generated music likely is here to stay. As the technology behind it continues to improve and evolve, there will likely be even more realistic imitations of people’s favorite artists and even completely new sounds. So many new possibilities come from this including artists even using AI to enhance their own music. Traditionally, it could take months or even years for an artist to create an album, but with AI-generated music, it’s possible to create a whole album in just a matter of days. This means that artists can release more music faster keeping up with their fans’ demands and staying ahead of the competition. These kinds of ideas raise a huge question about authenticity and creativity. It’s going to be fascinating to see where the music industry goes next.