Nick Cave has taken aim at the viral chatbot software ChatGPT and its capacity for music.
On his personal blog, the singer-songwriter responded to a fan named Mark in New Zealand who had sent him a song written by ChatGPT "in the style of Nick Cave." The artificial intelligence can be directed to impersonate the style of specific individuals but Cave felt that this particular replication was a "travesty," to say the least.
The song is filled with dark imagery, with the chorus' lyrics reading: "I am the sinner, I am the saint / I am the darkness, I am the light / I am the hunter, I am the prey / I am the devil, I am the savior."
Writing back to Mark, Cave admitted he did not share the same enthusiasm.
"I understand that ChatGPT is in its infancy but perhaps that is the emerging horror of AI — that it will forever be in its infancy, as it will always have further to go, and the direction is always forward, always faster," he wrote.
"It can never be rolled back, or slowed down, as it moves us toward a utopian future, maybe, or our total destruction. Who can possibly say which? Judging by this song ‘in the style of Nick Cave’ though, it doesn’t look good, Mark. The apocalypse is well on its way. This song sucks."
Cave went on to slam ChatGPT as an exercise in "replication as travesty," saying that songwriting is not "mimicry, or replication, or pastiche."
The singer, who is writing songs for a new album with the Bad Seeds, added that it likely sounded as if he may be taking it all "a little too personally" but pointed out that he is a songwriter "who is engaged, at this very moment, in the process of songwriting."
"It’s a blood and guts business, here at my desk, that requires something of me to initiate the new and fresh idea. It requires my humanness," he noted.
Cave added: "With all the love and respect in the world, this song is bulls***, a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human, and, well, I don't much like it.”
Earlier this month, Cave opened up about his new album, sharing in a blog post that he had started the process of songwriting at 9 a.m. on New Year's Day.
"It is now January 6. Nearly a week has passed and I've written a few things but they aren't very good, or maybe they are, it's difficult to tell," he wrote candidly.
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