'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,' said Nick Cave.
Technology is developing at a thundering speed in our times. Although it is a result of human intelligence, many fear that recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) might be able to surpass human intelligence itself. But this might not be as easy as it seems. Many artists and thinkers doubt if the human capacity for reason and empathy can be matched by AI. Recently, The New Yorker asked the Australian singer and songwriter, Nick Cave, "Could ChatGPT’s inability to write a good song somehow help us value creative work more?" He had an insightful response that can help us understand the issue better.
Cave was questioned about Chat GPT as one of his fans sent a song "written" by ChatGPT "in the style of Nick Cave." Cave replied to his fan on his blog, "The Red Hand Files," "Dear Mark, Since its launch in November last year, many people, most buzzing with a kind of algorithmic awe, have sent me songs ‘in the style of Nick Cave’ created by ChatGPT. There have been dozens of them. Suffice it to say, I do not feel the same enthusiasm around this technology. 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."
"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 added, "Songs arise out of suffering, by which I mean they are predicated upon the complex, internal human struggle of creation and, well, as far as I know, algorithms don’t feel. Data doesn’t suffer."
When interviewed by The New Yorker in this context, Cave said, "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. 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."
He added, "Art has to do with our limitations, our frailties, and our faults as human beings. It’s the distance we can travel away from our own frailties. That’s what is so awesome about art: that we deeply flawed creatures can sometimes do extraordinary things. AI just doesn’t have any of that stuff going on. It has nothing to transcend! It feels like such a mockery of what it is to be human. 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."
That's true and great and beautiful— Laura Wright (@LauraWright1000) April 7, 2023
Cave has aptly discussed how art and music created by humans are not going anywhere and they can never be replaced!