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Art struggles in the battle against AI

The usage of artificial intelligence has become controversial due to the ethics surrounding it. Photos generated through Hotpot

With the popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) increasing, it is difficult to fathom how it has taken over the art world. Completely changing the way creative works are produced, AI is being used in multiple forms of art, including music.  

The use of AI in art has become an extremely controversial topic. Art is a channel meant for people to express themselves emotionally and spiritually. When art is developed by AI, this aspect of it is taken away, leaving many to wonder if AI-generated art can be considered “art.”  

Image generators are used to create “art,” but in reality, it lacks the personality and lived experience of an artist. Similar to AI-generated writing, the artistry and individualism of the author is lost, decreasing a unique piece of written work to simple words on paper.  

It is a comparable situation in the music industry, as AI tools are being used to generate new music from current artists.  However, to a certain extent, music technology has been moving towards AI for the last 15 years, with the introduction of GarageBand by Apple.  

Other programs have followed, allowing users to generate beats or instrumentals to record with. One example of this is SongStarter by BandLab, in which the program will generate an instrumental with only lyrics and emojis.  

AI has had more controversial moments in music as some are using it to bring back the vocals of artists who have died. People are using this tool to have long-gone artists “sing” covers by artists, giving listeners the opportunity to imagine the possibilities of artists like Freddie Mercury or Kurt Cobain having lived longer.  

“I think that AI art is a new form of art, but it’s not as expressive as actual art,” said Arabella Ramirez, a music major at UTEP.  

In a unique twist, AI is being used in an interesting way, by a popular band, The Beatles. Paul McCartney is bringing back John Lennon’s vocals in new, unreleased music, with the help of AI. 

“All of that is kind of scary, but exciting because it’s the future,” McCartney said in an interview with BBC Radio 4.   

Peter Jackson used similar AI technology in the Beatles documentary, “Get Back,” and was able to use that same technology for the Beatles’ upcoming song.  

“He was able to extricate John’s voice from a ropey little bit of cassette, where it had John’s voice and a piano,” McCartney said. “He could separate them with AI.”  

Although some consider AI as art, the question is where is the line drawn? The difference lies in how AI is being used. AI art can generate great images, but without the human touch, it makes it difficult for some to determine what the meaning is behind it.  

In the case of McCartney and the Beatles, AI is being used not to generate the voice, but to repair the recordings Lennon made before his death in 1980. Although the effects of AI can be enormous, it is hard to imagine a world that is enveloped by AI-generated art.  

Nicholas Maes is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Nicholas Maes
Nicholas Maes, Editor-in-Chief
Nicholas Maes is the editor-in-chief for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in history with a minor in commercial music. He plans to continue his academic career in history after earning his bachelor's degree.
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