The Pros and Cons of AI in the Music Industry
AI is causing quite a stir across all industries, but the music industry has specifically seen its fair share of the action. Recently we’ve seen David Guetta utilise an AI version of Eminem’s vocals on a track, to virtual DJs taking over stages and entire albums being produced by AI. it’s becoming close to living in an episode of Black Mirror! Do the Pros outweigh the Cons? We’ve put together a list of some of the Pros and Cons for using AI in the music industry so you can make your own informed decisions.
Enhanced Ideation vs Lack of Emotion-Led Creativity
Pro: Enhanced ideation and creativity
AI can be a great tool for ideation, because more ideas can be generated at a quicker rate. It could inspire producers when they are in the creative flow and allow them to find new and innovative ideas for expressing themselves.
Con: Lack of emotional creativity: A big part of being creative is connecting with yourself to express yourself. There is something cathartic about this process, although it’s not easy, it allows people to tap into a deeper level of their emotions in order to create something from it. As everyone’s experience is unique, will we find a lack of emotion-led creativity if AI is leading the outputs?
Removing ‘Creative Blocks’ vs Ethics Concerns
Pro: Can remove ‘creative blocks’
We’ve all been there, we have to create something and we can hit a wall (inspiration isn’t always on tap), that dreaded creative block affects everyone at some point. AI could become a great way to continue the creative flow and sketch or draft ideas to visit or enhance whilst pushing past these periods of block.
Cons: Ethical concerns The use of AI in music production raises ethical concerns about the role of technology in music and the potential consequences of technology replacing human creativity, sometimes these creative blocks are needed so that we have the space to creatively express and within the transition alternate ideas are explored.
Improved Efficiency vs Information Overload
Pro: Improved efficiency
AI can perform repetitive tasks with greater speed and accuracy, saving time, increasing productivity, and removing human error. This could be great for creating different melodies or sounds for tracks at a faster rate, so the producer has a broad range to choose from. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want a personal robot assistant to do all the tedious work?
Cons: Information Overload: We’re already in an era where there is an abundance of music, art, and marketing messages. Will the ease of creativity from AI cause too much content that, in the end, just feels like noise? As they say, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Understanding Trends vs Lack of Diversity and Inclusivity
Pro: Understanding the trends
AI can analyze vast amounts of data quickly, so it can tap into the trends and preferences of listeners in real-time. This could be good when planning new releases, collaborations, or finding partners to work with on upcoming releases or events.
Con: Lack of Diversity and Inclusivity: Yes, it’s great that AI can spot the trends, but with the industry still very biased towards the majority, resulting in a lack of diversity and visibility for minority groups. This is already something the industry is trying to tackle and using AI in this way could negatively affect diversity and inclusivity – meaning we miss out on new emerging talents, audiences and economies.
Cost Savings vs Job Loss
Pros: Cost savings
This faster and more efficient way of working is naturally going to result in cost savings for those in the music industry. We could see all creative aspects becoming automated from video, graphics, copy and music production, saving on heavy fees from suppliers..
Cons: Potential job loss: The use of AI could potentially replace human jobs in music production, resulting in unemployment and a loss of expertise.
Improved Decision Making vs Technology Dependency
Pro: Improved decision-making
More data can be analysed at lightning speed, this can help when making informed decisions about marketing strategies, music distribution and artist management. As a consequence businesses could have more stability and have a stronger ability to grow.
Con: Dependence on technology: This could lead to relying too heavily on AI in decision making and losing the human connection associated with innovation and leading businesses towards growth and success
Automated Music Production vs Formulaic Music
Pro: Automated music production
The big one here is that as well as helping with ideation producers can create entire tracks from scratch meaning artists can produce more music in less time, also creating elements that could normally require seasoned musicians to provide intonation characteristics.
Con: Formulaic Music
Music production could lead to a lack of human touch and intuition, potentially resulting in uninspired and formulaic music. Armed with stats and information is great, but after all isn’t authentic music actually about feeling and relating to the artists formative influences?
Better Quality Music vs Embracing Imperfection
Pro: Better music quality
The overall production can be improved by minimising noise or detecting flaws that can be missed by human ears with varying processing, monitor and studio reflection placements.
Con: Great music is never flawless
Those little flaws in music make it human and give the music body and swing. Like Jazz music it has nuances and movement and often it is these imperfections that make it totally unique and add that extra magic to a mix.
Better Software Integration vs High Costs
Pro: Integration with other technologies: AI can be integrated with other technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality to create immersive music experiences.
Con: High costs: Implementing AI technology with other technology could be expensive, requiring significant investments in hardware and software. This means it could be available for only certain types of brands who have the revenue to explore this.
Predicting Success vs Data Privacy Issues
Pro: Predictive analytics
The data analysis can help labels and events predict successes of new releases, events and help music brands make more informed decisions about investing in new artists.
Con: Data privacy concerns
The use of AI requires large amounts of data, which can raise concerns about data privacy, copyright and security. Where is this data, artwork or music coming from and how do we protect our data and content being used by AI without consent?
Fanbase Knowledge vs Fan Resistance
Pro: Helping to understand your fan base AI can find lots of data and fast about who your target audience is and how to market to them systematically
Con: Resistance from artists and fans Some artists and fans may resist the use of AI in music production, seeing it as a threat to traditional music production and presentation methods.
What do the TEA team think?
As an agency there are many ways we could use AI, however for us, joy comes from creating. As Brene Brown Says ‘Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.’
We would rather stay connected to what we create emotionally, physically and mentally. We are sure there will be moments where AI can enhance our ideation process but for now until the ethical and copyright issues are resolved, we will stay up to date but not immersed in AI.