Nick Cave has sounded off about the emerging prevalence of artificial intelligence in his latest newsletter.
Cave was responding to being sent a bunch of songs created ‘in the style of Nick Cave’ by the bot ChatGPT. Suffice to say, he isn’t a fan, labelling the technology a “horror” and saying AI would move humanity towards “our total destruction.”
Nick Cave: ‘Red Right Hand’
“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.”
The opening stanza of the ChatGPT bot went as follows: “In the depths of the night, I hear a call/A voice that echoes, through the hall/It’s a siren’s song, that pulls me in/Takes me to a place, where I can’t begin.”
It also included lyrics like “I’ve got the fire of hell, in my eyes” and “I’m the king of the abyss, I’m the ruler of the dark”.
Cave goes on to write that ChatGPT is “replication as travesty” and that the technology may be able to write a speech or an essay, but it could never create a genuine song. “Songs arise out of suffering,” he wrote. “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. ChatGPT has no inner being, it has been nowhere, it has endured nothing.”
Signing off, he writes that “this song is bullshit” and “a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human”.
You can read the full newsletter over at the Red Hand Files.
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