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Sunday, April 14
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COLUMN: The robots are taking over: Chat GPT made a band

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Artificial intelligence is terrifying. It can write essays, do taxes and even create new “Seinfeld” episodes. What if I told you I had it create a band? 

I’ve been interested in testing the limits of AI since I learned about it in middle school. Music is something so unique to the human experience; it catalogs our emotions and connects us through unconventional passageways. I realize how corny that sounds, but this is the one thing I was certain that Chat GPT could not replicate well. I was right until I asked it to write about The Wild Hearts. 

According to Chat GPT, The Wild Hearts is a “new rock band... hailing from the gritty streets of Brooklyn, New York.” The band is comprised of four members: lead singer and guitarist Jack Steele, who “is known for his raw and powerful vocals, which he combines with his hard-hitting guitar riffs,” drummer Max Black, bassist Cassie Jones and keyboardist Emma Rose. This is all from the first thing I asked it to do: create a Spotify biography for a new band. 

I then asked the AI program to write me the first single for this new band. The AI seemed hooked on the idea of wild hearts. It created a semi-autobiographical song by the band, explaining their origins and their hopes for the future — which seemed a little odd to me.  

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“I've been playing my guitar, in every dive  

Trying to make a name, and just survive  

The road's been long, but I'm not giving in  

I'll keep on going, 'til the very end 

Chorus:  

'Cause I'm a wild heart, living on the edge  

I'm gonna break the rules, and never hedge  

I'll take you on a ride, you won't forget  

'Cause I'm a wild heart, and I'm not done yet.” 

I ran into a short issue when I asked the AI to name the song, since it said, “it is the first single for The Wild Hearts and they have not yet named it.” I eventually got it to name the first single “Wild Heart Ride.” 

I asked the program to write two reviews on the album, one from the AI itself and one from famous YouTube music reviewer Anthony Fantano. They both had very similar throughlines, citing visible influences from The Black Keys, Led Zepplin and The 1975 — quite an eclectic group of musicians. The creepiest part? I asked for these reviews on two separate days on two separate chat lines. Despite this, the AI named the same two songs “Rattlesnake Bite,” and referred to them each as an “infectious track” and a “high-energy romp.” I asked both chat lines to name the album and they agreed on the same name: “Rattlesnake Bite.” 

“Verse 1:  

Walking through the desert heat,  

Searching for a place to be,  

Feeling like I'm lost in a dream,  

But then I heard a rattlesnake scream. 

Chorus:  

Rattlesnake bite, gonna make me feel alright,  

Gonna dance in the moonlight,  

Rattlesnake bite, gonna set my soul alight,  

Gonna ride into the night. 

Bridge:  

I'll follow the rhythm of the beat,  

And dance until my heart skips a beat,  

I'll chase the stars across the sky, 

And never look back, no, never say die.” 

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There does seem to be some identifiable limitations on the AI language model, with the most glaring one being that the song lyrics must rhyme for it to code a song. No matter what prompt I gave it for songwriting, it always came back with an AABB rhyme scheme. 

I had a lot of fun creating this fake band. The music that Chat GPT writes is by no means complex, but it isn’t bad music. There’s even AI that can create songs you can listen to. In my personal experience, they’re not much to worry about. I can see this technology being used to write songs for artists — especially new pop artists — trying to make it in this TikTok-hook driven scene. 

AI is spooky, but damn, it can write some catchy lyrics. 

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