Nick Cave says AI-generated songs are “insulting”, thinks “ChatGPT should just f**k off and leave songwriting alone”
Nick Cave thinks the world’s reliance on artificial intelligence is insulting, says “AI may very well save the world, but it can’t save our souls”
Over the past year, the world has become increasingly entranced by the AI-based platform ChatGPT, which can create anything from grammar corrections and product names to song lyrics.
The use of artificial intelligence in songwriting has become a subject of frustration, however, most notably for Nick Cave, who previously made his distaste known after being shown a song written in his style by the programme. After being asked his views on the software by a fan, the singer-songwriter responded via his blog The Red Hand Files, and said: “Thanks for the song. But with all the love and respect in the world, this song is bullshit, a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human”, before adding that he thought it was “bullshit”.
He has since elaborated on his view in conversation with The New Yorker, stating that he wants ChatGPT to “fuck off and leave songwriting alone”.
When questioned as to whether he believes artificial intelligence could make consumers value art more, he responds: “My objection is not with AI in general. For better or for worse, we are inextricably immersed in AI.
“It is more a kind of sad, disappointed feeling that there are smart people out there that actually think the artistic act is so mundane that it can be replicated by a machine. I find that insulting.”
He continues, “There’s no earthly reason why we need to invent a technology that can mimic this most beautiful and mysterious creative act. Particularly writing a song. The thing about writing a good song is that it tells you something about yourself you didn’t already know. That’s the thing. You can’t mimic that.”
Speaking of whether he thinks creations made by AI can rival human-made material, Cave adds: “Maybe AI can make a song that’s indistinguishable from what I can do. Maybe even a better song. But, to me, that doesn’t matter – that’s not what art is.
“AI may very well save the world, but it can’t save our souls. That’s what true art is for. That’s the difference. So, I don’t know, in my humble opinion ChatGPT should just fuck off and leave songwriting alone.”
Later this year, Nick Cave will embark on an 18-city US solo tour, kicking off from September 19 and wrapping up on October 28.