Unless you have missed your springtime alarm and are still hibernating under last winter’s duvet you cannot have missed the two mega buzzwords doing the rounds in the media: Artificial Intelligence.  Depending on the author’s viewpoint AI can be anything from “a really cool tool to make life easier” to “Armageddon for the human race.”

With a background in technology, I will always give in to my inner geek and try tech things out.  Over twenty years ago I had to test voice recognition technology.  The results were hilariously bad but highly entertaining.  Today I quite happily talk to Alexa or Siri in order to play music or find TV shows that I have mis-placed – for the most part she/it/they get it right. 

This new generation of Artificial Intelligence is far more powerful, of that there is no doubt. Why not interview AI and see how it might affect, oh I don’t know, music journalism maybe? (Yep, sadly that’s the way my mind works!) 

An ‘interview’ with Artificial Intelligence…

TB: Tell me about AI in the music industry. 

AI response: In recent years, advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology have had major implications for the music industry. The music press has been largely unaffected, however, as the combination of creative expression and human analysis that defines music journalism is difficult to automate and reproduce. Nevertheless, AI is beginning to shape the future of music journalism in a variety of ways.  

TB: What do you think are its most significant developments? 

AI response: The most significant development in the use of AI in music journalism has been the emergence of automated content curation and analysis. AI algorithms can quickly identify and analyze music trends to create summaries and highlight relevant stories which can be used by journalists to inform their reporting. AI-based systems can also read reviews and summarise their findings in a comprehensive and succinct manner, allowing journalists to quickly identify the main takeaways from a complex review.  

dr feelgood

TB: Is AI doing anything new? 

AI response: The use of AI in music journalism is also leading to new ways of telling stories and creating innovative experiences. AI-enabled platforms can suggest the best new music for readers to discover, based on their own preferences or on topics of interest. AI-generated content has become more common and is also being used to create interactive features such as human-like conversations with an artist or video games based on personalities or genres.  

Finally, the use of AI in music journalism is opening up new opportunities to measure and track the behaviour of music fans. AI-based tools and analytics allow journalists to objectively measure and track the performance and impact of music over time. This helps inform an artist’s marketing strategy and may be used to develop targeted content and promotions, furthering an artist’s reach. 

In short, AI is beginning to reshape the way music journalism is conducted today by streamlining the reporting process, providing insightful analysis, driving creativity, and improving audience engagement. By leveraging the power of AI, journalists can create richer, more engaging experiences for their readers and uncover stories and insights that would otherwise be hidden. As AI technology advances, it will no doubt continue to open up new possibilities in the music journalism field. 

Elsewhere I had read that Artificial Intelligence could also review new music releases quickly.  That played right into my inner geek.  I just had to ask… 

TB: Review Grace Calver’s new EP “My Life and its Disasters” 

Artificial Intelligence

AI response:  Grace Calver’s new EP ‘My Life and its Disasters’ is an absolute masterpiece. From the haunting vocals to the masterfully crafted guitar work, each song is unique and emotive. Reverberating guitar licks and swooning vocal melodies set the tone perfectly, speculating a journey of personal growth with each listen.  

Drenched with emotion and a strong sense of self, ‘My Life and its Disasters’ allows Calver to explore the pains of the human condition in an open and contemplative way. It’s a landmark release for Calver as an artist and for the genre of alternative pop as a whole.

These results were obtained using OpenAI, it is freely available to anyone with an internet connection. The results are scarily humanoid although I would not regard this as any form of scientific research, I was after all merely indulging the geek within. The results are positive and encouraging just like you would get from a good PR company. 

I discovered that if you ask similar questions about a range of songwriters, to the trained eye, and if you look very hard, you do begin to see the formula embedded in the algorithms. Thankfully, to quote my artificial interviewee “…the combination of creative expression and human analysis that defines music journalism is difficult to automate and reproduce.” 

I very much like Grace Calver’s new EP and can’t really find fault with the artificially generated review.  It leaves an elephantine question in the room for artists: would you be happy for your work to be reviewed by a piece of software?  More to the point – could you tell? 

(The paragraphs in italics were generated using AI software as was the image above) 

Live Music Listings – untouched by Artificial Intelligence