Is AI the new future for classic rock or our worst nightmare?

Beatles guitar memorabilia
Beatles guitar memorabilia / Ian Waldie/GettyImages
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There has always been artistic influence to underpin new music. Again with the Fab Four in mind, it has been said that Electric Light Orchestra albums were like what The Beatles would have produced in the late 1970s. And Oasis is often cited as evoking the Liverpool band's sound too. 

The use of AI is quite different, though. The earlier examples raise a range of issues. From the threat to musicians of technology creating and writing music in a particular style to more complex copyright issues when using original material to reimagine songs.

As CNN reports, Universal Music Group is certainly worried about the threat of AI. The group has been approaching streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify to take action to help prevent AI music from being created. At the time of the CNN article, neither platform had responded.

The CNN report also reveals that the U.S. copyright office is releasing new guidance on AI-generated material and is asking the public for their views on how this could work in the future. 

AI and its tools for music and creativity is an issue that will rumble on for many years. It could provide a lot more magical sounds and entertainment in the future. It could also be seen only to produce variations of classics or songs that sound like our once favorite bands rather than satisfy the need for brand-new creations.

As yet, it’s unclear if or how AI could replicate the growth and development of a songwriter and performers from their early days to their prime and the rise in the quality and depth of their music along that journey. To do so, it would have to extrapolate forwards and deliver what the music may have become.

Personally, I’m interested to see how it all progresses but not excited by the prospect of more reworked classics or "In the style of" creations.

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