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Music City was built on a foundation laid by songwriters. Their future is now clouded by AI.


By Julia Masters – Reporter, Nashville Business Journal, April 20, 2023


Picture this: a Nashville songwriter sits down at their desk with a blank piece of paper and a guitar. They begin to strum a melody, but the words just won't come. Sound familiar? Well, fear not, because artificial intelligence is here to help.


ChatGPT, a tool that utilizes AI and machine learning algorithms to generate lyrics and melodies based on specific parameters, is making waves in the music industry. While some may argue that AI-generated music lacks the emotional depth and creativity of human songwriters, others believe it could be a useful tool to increase productivity and efficiency.


The growing interest in AI-generated music raises questions about the role of technology in the creative process and the future of the music industry. As the industry continues to evolve and adapt to new technologies, it is essential to assess the impact of AI on the industry as a whole.


While ChatGPT and other AI tools can generate lyrics and melodies, they cannot replicate the passion and emotion behind music. The heart and soul of a song come from the songwriter's experiences, emotions, and personal connections to the lyrics and melodies. AI may be able to create a catchy tune or a witty lyric, but it cannot replace the human touch.


“There’s always been tools that evolved the industry. … Later on people started using a program called MasterWriter to generate titles and ideas, and I think when drum machines came out people were concerned about that replacing drummers. … Technology is always going to change music and evolve,” Blackmon said. “Some people adapt, but people are already using it, and I would say that people who are threatened by it will be left behind.points out Grammy-nominated songwriter Odie Blackmon, the commercial songwriting coordinator at Middle Tennessee State University.


Regardless of the ethical implications and debates surrounding AI-generated music, it is clear that technology is becoming increasingly integrated into the music industry. From streaming services to social media marketing campaigns, technology has transformed the way artists create and share their music with the world.


As we move forward, it will be fascinating to see how the industry continues to evolve and adapt to new technologies. Will AI-generated music become the norm, or will human creativity continue to reign supreme? Only time will tell.


In the meantime, let us appreciate the power of human emotion and creativity in music, while also recognizing the potential of AI to enhance the industry's efficiency and productivity.



Summary by ChatGPT

The AI-created illustration at right was generated using the prompt, "An oil painting style of a robot hand playing a guitar with a light background."

DALL-E 2, OPENAI

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