Nick Cave has seen the AI technology that can write songs in exactly his style and, as we might have expected, he's not impressed.
If you're not familiar with ChatGPT, the chatbot taking the internet by storm, it can write songs, poems, and even full blown college essays, with just a few simple prompts.
It can create a love in the style of your favourite artist, talk about bitcoin in the style of Donald Trump, put together a new script for any TV series... the possibilities are endless.
Some people love this new online tool and are getting a kick out of their own creations, but others hate it and are worried about what it means for the future of art and technology. Nick Cave is one of the latter.
In his newsletter The Red Hand Files, the 'I Need You' singer replied to a fan who had gotten ChatGPT to generate a song 'in the style of Nick Cave.'
Nick was not amused.
Replying to the fan, Nick confirmed he had already been sent dozens of ChatGPT creations attempting to replicate his songwriting style.
"Suffice to say, I do not feel the same enthusiasm around this technology," he wrote.
"Judging by this song ‘in the style of Nick Cave’, [the future] doesn’t look good, Mark. The apocalypse is well on its way. This song sucks."
Dissecting the 'travesty' of ChatGPT, he went on: "ChatGPT may be able to write a speech or an essay or a sermon or an obituary but it cannot create a genuine song.
"It could perhaps in time create a song that is, on the surface, indistinguishable from an original, but it will always be a replication."
Explaining that real, true songs 'arise out of suffering', Cave said that, as far as he knows, 'algorithms don't feel'.
"Data doesn't suffer. ChatGPT has no inner being, it has been nowhere, it has endured nothing, it has not had to audacity to reach beyond its limitations, and hence it doesn’t have the capacity for a shared transcendent experience, as it has no limitations from which to transcend."
The award-winning musician went on to describe the 'blood and guts' that go into writing a real, meaningful song - the 'humanness' that it takes to create a masterpiece - compared to the 'mimicry, or replication, or pastiche' that bots like ChatGPT generate.
Concluding his scathing AI valuation, Nick wrote: "Mark, thanks for the song, but with all the love and respect in the world, this song is bulls**t, a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human, and, well, I don’t much like it - although, hang on!, rereading it, there is a line in there that speaks to me -".
Taking a quote from the AI-generated song, which read: 'I've got the fire of hell in my eyes', Nick conceded: "That's kind of true. I have got the fire of hell in my eyes - and it's ChatGPT."
Not for everyone, is it?
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