My Zen response to all this is “ Stop bothering me with this nonsense and let me have silence, trees and birdsong to continue writing that which means something to me”. Maybe there is still an audience for my heart.

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I honestly think there is little threat from AI music as I believe that music lovers crave human connection. If AI is appealing to streaming services, I suspect that, as you suggest, streaming services will become a less appealing source of music and be instrumental in their own downfall. I think the appeal of all art is that someone felt something and it caused them to create something in which beauty can be seen. An algorithm cannot do that.

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Ted, but who's the audience for this AI crap? If there is an audience, probably small, should we care? Let these foolish companies go bankrupt pursuing this idiotic obsession, and the rest of us happily discover, support, and listen to real human beings creating real music!

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Part of me wonders if music is being pushed underground before it re-emerges again as a strong cultural force. Music journalism has plummeted; the recording industry has collapsed with no obvious saviour in sight; recorded music is frequently just background music for other activities; artists now spend a lot of their time creating music aimed to go viral on social media; album releases are hardly noticed; most big acts are branded individuals not bands; many governments are cutting arts funding and education.

In terms of AI music, as banal as it is I can see a chunk of the population dumbing down to the point where they might even enjoy it, especially if it’s sold as having certain magical powers: increase your concentration; guess the lottery numbers; revitalise your libido. It saves you having to actually learn about culture: just type some key words and there is your custom music.

Despite this I have have hope. Painters responded to the camera by developing entirely new forms of art. AI can’t think conceptually, so human music is likely to become more conceptual. It might give us something to define ourselves and differentiate ourselves against. We’ve been becoming more cyborg for decades - perhaps this will encourage the opposite.

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I will add that this afternoon I’m heading to perform at a community event, “Music in the Park”, in Seattle, where we’ll play original songs for a crowd on the lawn. We’ll sing, talk, smile, laugh, story and see one another. True human connection without AI additives. It is still out there.

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My fear is that they will generate all possible chord progressions and then sue anyone with new music that matches them.

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In a scant few generations, artistic excellence will be but a quaint romantic notion. We dinosaurs will fade from the earth carrying our vivid memories of those who enriched our lives with artistic expression born of intellect, passion, and humanity. The 21st Century has, thus far, been all about devaluing humanity, celebrating greed and monetizing fear. All mankind's worst impulses now have sophisticated tools at their disposal. It's timely that Oppenheimer opens next week. We're really good at creating powerful things to destroy, but not so good at creating things of enduring great beauty and service to humanity.

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Out of morbid curiosity, I downloaded the Mubert app so I could listen to some of these tracks. They are exactly as terrible and pointless as the nay-sayers have noted, posessing not even a real melody, or even a vague understanding of tension-and-release that cookie cutter electronic genres like ambient utilize. It really is just a crap generator at this point.

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I’ve been adding this to my disclaimer section lately:

“Note: I do not use any form of “Artificial Intelligence” in writing Michael Acoustic. It is possible that some external sources that I link to or quote do use or contain AI generated material.”

Call me a Luddite and come at me, Big AI!

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Hope this makes everyone feel better. We keep listening to our favorite no AI artists.

I do hope music has better chances than visual artists.

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AI is a lot of quantity and no quality.

Which is actually perfect for creatives, to really make art that stands out from this infinite noise of similar pattern.

I can’t imagine playing a videogame made by an AI, it must be like living through hell or being stuck in a nightmare.

This applies to all AI “art” and honestly I believe music is the shittiest (maybe because I am a musician)

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Everything's going to collapse soon. Maybe we'll need musicians to be the shamans again, the leader of the tribe with the nicest tent.

Anyone living in Dubai who wasn't born in the Gulf is, for the most part, a parasite. It's all about the money.

Ted doesn't write about health care. It's really bad. The money's being sucked out by all the middlemen, utterly predictable with the Medical-Industrial Complex. The quality of the doctors is abysmal. The older ones are mostly completely burnt out. The younger ones never would have been admitted forty years ago. This after decades of warnings about looming shortages everywhere, from nurses to primary care doctors, and now every specialty under the sun.

Haven't even mentioned climate change.

I don't know about cat guts and stuff, but it seems like soon the folks who know how to make strings out of nature will be in demand soon.

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Preach on Preacher!

I’m a full time working musician (for over 30 years and counting) and due to modern pop music & the hippity hop,

I’ve long seen the downfall of real great music made with integrity by real musicians playing real instruments.

It honestly doesn’t take any musical knowledge, talent and years of musical practice these days for a laptop jockey to boot up a MacBook fire up your DAW of choice (garbage band, logic, fruity loops, pro fools, etc...) then drag & drop prerecorded wave files, premade midi files and auto tuned vocals into the edit screen. Any fool on this planet can make a hippity hop beat by dragging dots across a grid or flipping dials and switches in a beat making plugin... anybody can do this. There’s truly nothing special or groundbreaking to do this.

All it takes is a cheap windows computer or Mac, an interface, the software and time in front of the screen.

This process over the past 20 years has cheapened music and is one of the major reasons why all rap “music” sounds the same.... all the bedroom “producers“ on laptops (not instruments) are all using the same programs, wave files, drum loops, templates, etc..🤣 no wonder if all sounds the same.

Real music has soul and is made by humans. This is why Jazz, funk, reggae, rock, soul, r&b and classical music sounds so great.

Now with Ai we’ll see much more of this soulless robotic trap crap and talentless rappers and singers.

Most reality tv watching - Tik Tockin’ pop culture sheeple won’t care and probably won’t be able to tell the difference 😂

We were well warned back in the 80’s ... “I’ll be back.”

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This makes me want to purposefully cry human tears.

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Like someone else mentioned re: social media sites, when a platform or an industry becomes inundated with crap, people leave and go somewhere else.

I, for one, can hardly stand Facebook. I just keep it for my band page. I don't peruse any main stream media; I mostly follow substackers like Ted. I am a rock and metal guy to the core, but I can't stand rock radio any more because all the labels and stations play is the same stuff from the 60s and 70s and new stuff that sounds like the old stuff. I'm Who'd and Zeppelin'd out, but apparently that's their formula and they seem to be sticking to it. I was briefly on Spotify back in 2013, but left shortly after because I felt almost like an addict, like music wasn't as valuable suddenly. I pulled my small catalog from all streaming sites.

All this to say that I'm taking everyone's word for it that the AI stuff is crap. I'm not even bothering to listen. [UPDATE: OK, curiosity got the best of me and I went to Mubert... listened to the first track that looked interesting and laughed out loud, and only lasted about 5 seconds.] I can imagine that these programmers have some delusion that they'll make royalties from generating so much content, but I'd bet they are in for a rude awakening.

Yesterday, I saw a comment from another substack mentioning an old Mike & The Mechanics song "The Living Years". I couldn't remember the song very well, so I went back and listened. I ended up crying like a kid again at the memory of the loss of my father. Sorry, AI might be able to mimic, but it'll never write what a human with a life of experiences with heart and emotions can.

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These techies can flood the zone all they want, but it’s not going to work.

One small thing I decided to do is place a barred-circle NO AI watermark on any video I create for YouTube or any other digital ‘venue’ supporting the music I create. (Four videos so far.) It’s done in such a way that it doesn’t distract from the video content; it just appears at top left for the first ten seconds or so. We need to fight this horror however we can

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