Even if you didn’t see last weekend’s episode of Saturday night live, you probably still saw it. You might already know what I’m talking about: Timothée Chalamet and other similarly dressed cast members, shaking their butts. in tiny red underwear. He was, the sketch says, “an Australian YouTube twink turned indie pop star and model turned HBO actor, Troye Sivan, played by an American actor who can’t do an Australian accent.” Chalamet and his cohort were the Troye Sivan Sleep Demons and they had been chasing straight women everywhere. It was a fun bit and, ironically, the least nightmarish Sivan impression to come out this week.
On Thursday, Google DeepMind Lyria announced., which it calls its “most advanced AI music generation model to date” and a couple of “experiments” for music creation. One is a set of artificial intelligence tools that allow people to, for example, hum a melody and turn it into a guitar riff, or transform a keyboard solo into a chorus. The other is called Dream Track and allows users to create 30-second YouTube shorts using AI-generated voices and musical styles from artists like T-Pain, Sia, Demi Lovato and, yes, Sivan, almost instantly. All one has to do is write a theme and choose an artist from a carousel, and the tool writes the lyrics, produces the backing track, and sings the song in the style of the selected musician. It’s wild.
My panic about this is not the fear that a million fake Troy Sivans will haunt my dreams; is that the most creative work shouldn’t be so easy, it’s ought be difficult. Borrow from Your own leagueJimmy Dugan says, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it weren’t like that, everyone would do it. The difficult thing is what makes it great.” Yes, asking a machine to make a Charli XCX-style fishing song is fun (or at least funhe), but Charli hoisted sign During the Hollywood writers’ strike, “ChatGPT has no childhood trauma.”
It’s not that these tools are useless. More than anything, they’re meant to help cultivate ideas and, for Dream Track, “test new ways for artists to connect with their fans.” It’s about making new experimental sounds for YouTube, rather than the top ones on the Billboard charts. Like lovato, who, along with other artists, allowed DeepMind to use his music for this project, said in a statementAI is revolutionizing the way artists work and “we have to be part of shaping what that future will look like.”
Google’s latest artificial intelligence musical toy arrives at a difficult time. Generative AI creates something of a digital minefield when it comes to copyright, and Google-owned YouTube has been trying to handle both the influx of AI-created music and the fact that it has deals with record labels. to pay when artists work. appears on the platform. A few months ago, when “Heart on My Sleeve,” an AI-generated song by “Drake” and “The Weeknd,” went viral, it was eventually pulled from several streaming services after complaints from the artist label, Universal Music Group.
But even if, say, the administrator of Johnny Cash’s estate does not seek to stop AI-generated versions of “Barbie Girl,” the technology still presents a conundrum for artists: They can work with companies like Google to create AI tools using their music, or create their own tools (like Holly Herndon and Grimes), go back and see if copyright law applies to music created from AI models trained on their work, or do nothing. It’s a question that seemingly every artist is thinking about right now, or at least being asked about.