The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Opinion: Artificial intelligence will revolutionize music

Artificial Intelligence Creating Music / Alice Lan / DALL-E / Originally Created with AI
As artificial intelligence makes its way into the music industry, the value and purpose of music will change forever.

Since the beginning of time, music has been a form of expression distinctive to humanity.

Recent innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), however, are calling into question the true value and impact of original music. 

Launched in 2014, uses AI to generate music with scientifically proven calming effects. In 2020, Microsoft collaborated with Bjork to create a never-ending composition of AI-powered hotel lobby music that reflected changes in the sky and weather. MAVE, a virtual K-pop group of 3D models, made its debut in Jan. 2023 with a live stage performance.

As technology continues to advance, many worry that AI will one day become a threat to human-produced music. Will our children one day be jamming out to bot music instead of Taylor Swift? Will live symphonic bands be replaced by one-tap computer compositions?

Luckily, AI still has a long way to go before it can replace real people because, fundamentally speaking, music is a reflection of the human experience. 

People create music to form connections, build a sense of community, and feel heard. It reflects an array of emotions, beliefs, and visions that others can relate to and find their own interpretations of.

On the other hand, AI is artificial by definition. A computer program will never be able to reflect human spontaneity, irrationality, and improvisational creativity. It will never understand the depth and complexity of human emotion, the symbolism behind certain lyrics and instrumental sequences, or the cultural significance behind different genres unless taught to do so. 

The best AI can do is mimic and replicate, but it is nothing without human brilliance to bring it to life.

At its current stage, AI is more of a tool that can prompt further exploration and innovation. Rather than a threat, it can help streamline the instrumental production process, provide accessibility for amateurs, and generate new genres altogether.

However, there is an entirely different concern more imminent than robot world domination: the devaluation of human creativity.

The devaluation of music itself has been a concern since the introduction of the Internet and streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. According to the Standing Committee of Copyright and Related Rights, musicians across the U.S. receive an average of only 63¢ for every $100 paid in streaming revenues. Compared to 50 years ago in the age of physical records, the difference is drastic.

With a machine’s ability to spit out new songs like soda cans on an assembly line, each individual piece becomes virtually worthless, accelerating the devaluation of intellectual property. Real people will face an endless struggle of creating new art forms faster than AI can replicate them.

Additionally, when AI is involved, there is no clear owner or any real way of determining copyright. Any musician’s work can be fed into a massive database of similar sounds and, when the final product is churned out, there is no real way to credit the original work being sampled. With the rise of advanced voice mimicry, artists’ voices can be appropriated and reused in ways beyond their control.

Ethically speaking, the industry must act to ensure people retain sovereignty over their own voices, creations, and processes. The scope of AI will only continue to expand, so regulations must be instilled to protect artists’ rights to creative expression. 

There is no denying that AI will change the way we both make and consume music. It will force musicians to redefine what makes their work meaningful and compel the industry to reconsider its definitions of authenticity and ownership.


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About the Contributor
Alice Lan, Staff Writer
Alice "Lili" Lan is currently a senior at Carlmont High School. In her last year of the journalism program, she is excited to continue exploring and challenging herself. Besides Scot Scoop, she is the Scotlight editor for The Highlander, Carlmont's news magazine. Outside of journalism, she is an artist and competitive fencer. Twitter: @lil_ilan

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Opinion: Artificial intelligence will revolutionize music