"ChatGPT rejects any notions of creative struggle."

Oh No You Didn't

Known AI hater and famed singer-songwriter Nick Cave has once again gone off on OpenAI's ChatGPT and its imitators being used to mimic the actual talent to write and record music.

In a "letter to the editor"-style blog post, Cave took questions from two purported music industry folks about songwriters using generative AI to speed up the process.

"I know you’ve talked about ChatGPT before," the letter-writer wrote, "but what’s wrong with making things faster and easier?"

Whether or not they knew it, the purported music industry type who queried the storied troubadour clearly touched a nerve.

"ChatGPT rejects any notions of creative struggle, that our endeavours animate and nurture our lives giving them depth and meaning," Cave seethed. "It rejects that there is a collective, essential and unconscious human spirit underpinning our existence, connecting us all through our mutual striving."

The technology's intent, he continued, "is to eliminate the process of creation and its attendant challenges, viewing it as nothing more than a time-wasting inconvenience that stands in the way of the commodity itself."

"Why bother with the artistic process and its accompanying trials?" he continued. "Why shouldn’t we make it 'faster and easier?"


As the ChatGPT-curious Cave fan noted, the "Red Right Hand" singer had indeed written about the now-notorious chatbot before — and his commentary back then, at the beginning of 2023, feels a bit like prophecy now.

Back in January, when OpenAI was still fairly new to the public psyche and hadn't yet resulted in people losing their jobs by the thousands, another clueless fan wrote into the musician's blog with ChatGPT-generated lyrics that they had instructed the chatbot to write "in the style of Nick Cave."

Boy, was he pissed.

"The apocalypse is well on its way," Cave wrote. "This song sucks."

While waxing prolific in this latest blog post about the many ways ChatGPT is, to his mind, harming the creative process, Cave also touched on something very raw: that by undermining human creativity and transforming it into a cheap imitation meant to be sold, AI may be doing damage to the concept of art — and its importance to the human spirit — as well.

"There are all sorts of temptations in this world that will eat away at your creative spirit," the artist wrote, "but none more fiendish than that boundless machine of artistic demoralisation, ChatGPT."

It's a hard-lined view, to be sure. But considering what we've already seen happen since Cave's first takedown of ChatGPT — the rapid mainstreaming of generative AI, which has rocked academic institutions and led to massive entertainment industry strikes over the existential dangers these technologies pose — it's becoming more and more difficult to disagree with him.

More on AI music: Google and Universal Music Reportedly Want to Monetize Deepfaked Songs

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