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posted by hubie on Wednesday April 03, @01:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the Wo-Yao-Ni-De-AI dept.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/suno-ai-chatgpt-for-music-1234982307/

I'm just a soul trapped in this circuitry." The voice singing those lyrics is raw and plaintive, dipping into blue notes. A lone acoustic guitar chugs behind it, punctuating the vocal phrases with tasteful runs. But there's no human behind the voice, no hands on that guitar. There is, in fact, no guitar. In the space of 15 seconds, this credible, even moving, blues song was generated by the latest AI model from a startup named Suno. All it took to summon it from the void was a simple text prompt: "solo acoustic Mississippi Delta blues about a sad AI." To be maximally precise, the song is the work of two AI models in collaboration: Suno's model creates all the music itself, while calling on OpenAI's ChatGPT to generate the lyrics and even a title: "Soul of the Machine."

[...] Over the past year alone, generative AI has made major strides in producing credible text, images (via services like Midjourney), and even video, particularly with OpenAI's new Sora tool. But audio, and music in particular, has lagged. Suno appears to be cracking the code to AI music, and its founders' ambitions are nearly limitless — they imagine a world of wildly democratized music making. The most vocal of the co-founders, Mikey Shulman, a boyishly charming, backpack-toting 37-year-old with a Harvard Ph.D. in physics, envisions a billion people worldwide paying 10 bucks a month to create songs with Suno. The fact that music listeners so vastly outnumber music-makers at the moment is "so lopsided," he argues, seeing Suno as poised to fix that perceived imbalance.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday April 03, @02:52AM (8 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday April 03, @02:52AM (#1351442)

    We were supposed to use machines to take away all the drudgery, the unpleasant stuff, like, say, filling out complicated insurance forms or delivering packages. And instead, we're using machines to do all the artsy fun stuff that millions of people would do for free if they could, and meanwhile organizing our economy to force people to fill out complicated insurance forms and deliver packages all day.

    Maybe, just maybe, we have our focus on all the wrong things when it comes to how to apply probabilistic generative algorithms.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday April 03, @03:27AM (4 children)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday April 03, @03:27AM (#1351445) Journal

      Lot of oddities in society. An example from tax season in the US: the reason the IRS does not provide citizens with the data they have, filling out the tax forms for them, is the tax prep industrial complex. Their lobbyists have even been caught urging lawmakers to further complicate taxes, using some feeble pretext to fail to disguise that their real intent is to force more citizens to use their services. Dovetails very nicely with giving even more tax breaks to the rich. You may be sure they will do all they can to prevent AI from doing your taxes for you.

      I remain unconvinced that this song producing AI is doing anything creative. What it produces is merely a mashup of searchable music that matches the requested genres and subjects.

      The part about wildly democratic music making sounds good. I like the thought of breaking the RIAA and forever ending their threats and lawsuits over alleged copyright infringements. I hadn't thought of AI being necessary to accomplish that. Digital networking and sound codecs ought to be enough to eventually get there.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday April 03, @03:57AM (2 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday April 03, @03:57AM (#1351450)

        The part about wildly democratic music making sounds good.

        I'm a believer in the idea that if you give people the time and materials that allow them to make art of any kind, they will do it without much if any prompting from anybody. Look at what happened during Covid with millions of people stuck in their own homes with enough money to get by and no work they had to be doing, and you'll get an idea of what humans will do voluntarily when the opportunity presents itself. Or alternately, look at how retirees keep themselves busy, and you'll see what people will do when they aren't constrained by a daily grind.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday April 03, @01:55PM (1 child)

          by Freeman (732) on Wednesday April 03, @01:55PM (#1351487) Journal

          look at how retirees keep themselves busy

          What does the occupation of "Walmart greeter" have to do with anything? Don't worry, my wife wanted to do a grocery delivery the other day. An older couple delivered the groceries. Pretty sure they're not just doing that for the kicks, then again, maybe I just see the fun in grocery delivery.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Thursday April 04, @02:35AM

            by Thexalon (636) on Thursday April 04, @02:35AM (#1351593)

            Right, those people aren't retired, they're old and couldn't afford to retire because America sucks at the whole concept of "taking care of other people".

            Although I did remember one elderly Walmart greeter who was allowed by management to bring his violin to work, and he would make lovely music for everyone shopping, just for kicks. It was far better than listening to the canned music over the PA system, certainly.

            --
            The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Wednesday April 03, @09:48PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 03, @09:48PM (#1351546) Homepage Journal

        Same here in Canada.

        When I lived in Amsterdam, though, the Dutch government just sent out income tax assessments based on what they knew. If you disagreed, you could fill out a tax return and send it in.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @03:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 03, @03:33AM (#1351447)

      It's because of the tech. The current AIs seem better at the hallucinate/dream stuff (art, music, BS) than at the stuff that requires more "rigor" and precision.

      After all it doesn't matter if a song has some mistakes (or sometimes that's what people like about it: https://www.cracked.com/article_41210_5-mistakes-that-made-it-into-the-final-versions-of-famous-songs.html [cracked.com] ).

      But it's normally not acceptable to fill out an insurance form with some hallucinated stuff. Well unless insurance companies use AIs to "check" claims and don't care about some "errors" (cost savings outweigh losses)...

      Same goes for lots of code and engineering stuff. If you can only get AIs to generate stuff that merely follows the spec up to 90%, you still need nearly the same number of humans for the rest. Imagine building a chip fab using a design that only follows the spec 90%.

      But meanwhile for music and art even if the AIs don't quite follow the "prompt" the result could be good enough if you're just looking for "canned" or "album filler" level stuff. Examples:
      ("live performance" style with Japanese performer talking etc, not sure how much tweaking, retries, etc was done to get this)
      https://app.suno.ai/song/eb9483a8-90f8-42a3-a3e1-5572bf590fe7/ [app.suno.ai]
      (lyrics from hymn)
      https://app.suno.ai/song/e950da27-d894-42fe-afcc-e45df091dd61/ [app.suno.ai]
      (lyrics from a Chinese kid's song?)
      https://app.suno.ai/song/c83d007e-92da-4ae4-bf9c-f7fc48278aec/ [app.suno.ai]
      (Song about AI composing music for you with German lyrics)
      https://app.suno.ai/song/96ba7eae-576d-47cf-81e5-3adfef3fdf53/ [app.suno.ai]

      If you have "good taste", or a good sense of what a particular target audience would like you don't need to be a musician/artist to know if something is nice. So you could spend X hours with a decent A, prompting and hinting at it, and pick the best results, remix etc, and then get something good enough (or great if you get lucky). But you might still get annoyed enough to either learn or get human to do some parts that the AI somehow isn't getting the way you want.

      Same goes for art: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/artificial-intelligence-art-wins-colorado-state-fair-180980703/ [smithsonianmag.com]

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by acid andy on Wednesday April 03, @10:08AM

      by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday April 03, @10:08AM (#1351471) Homepage Journal

      Haven't you heard? The proles aren't supposed to do pleasurable or creative things anymore. Only working themselves into an early grave for mere survival but somehow also lots and lots of consumption.

      --
      If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, @08:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, @08:27PM (#1351789)

      probabilistic generative algorithms

      That is, by far, the best definition ever! Too bad PGA is already taken

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RedGreen on Wednesday April 03, @03:45AM (3 children)

    by RedGreen (888) on Wednesday April 03, @03:45AM (#1351449)

    "The fact that music listeners so vastly outnumber music-makers at the moment is "so lopsided," he argues, seeing Suno as poised to fix that perceived imbalance."

    If the machine is doing it then you have added one single more entity to the process of music creation, it empowers no one else correcting the imbalance. Typical silly-cone valley magical thinking they are so special going to save the world, while doing nothing but further destroying it....

    --
    "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by acid andy on Wednesday April 03, @09:50AM (2 children)

      by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday April 03, @09:50AM (#1351470) Homepage Journal

      "The fact that music listeners so vastly outnumber music-makers at the moment is "so lopsided," he argues

      He's got to be having a laugh. Try posting your music on the various streaming sites if you're a relatively unknown artist and see how few genuine plays you get. Or, from the other side, search your favorite music genre and find more music than you could listen to in years unless it's an extremely niche genre.

      Oh, he's only talking about the big time musicians? Perhaps he could fuck off then.

      --
      If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Wednesday April 03, @10:47AM (1 child)

        by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday April 03, @10:47AM (#1351477)

        I'm enough of a musician that I get paid dozens of dollars every year to perform to audiences ranging from a couple dozen to a few hundred. All the stuff that I've put out has gotten played collectively a few thousand times. Do I expect to ever make a living from it? Nope. Do I think there are hundreds if not millions of people in this category as well? Yes.

        And of course what a capitalist thinks is "That's a profit opportunity", not "Think of all of the music we could have if we made it possible for more people to make it full time". So that's how A.I. is going to be applied in that space.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Wednesday April 03, @12:42PM

          by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday April 03, @12:42PM (#1351482)

          The profit opportunity is the same a in a Gold Rush: you make money selling tools to look for gold rather than finding gold yourself.

          If you sell people access to an AI - bingo! - money.

          Sell people tools for an activity that has a tiny chance of a large payoff. Hype the payoff. Make money off the tools. Even better if it is a subscription to a spade, rather than a one-off sale.

          Rent an EZ-dig™ spade! Its patented ergonomic design in tests gives 15% better digging ability than the standard competitor. The Stay-sharp™ edge will help you to get an 'edge' on your competitors! The Stompo™ platform allows you trouble-free transmission of power from your foot to the blade! The ergonomic Flex-power™ shaft makes handling a breeze! Requires enrolment in the optimization program for the low, low price of $10 monthly or $100 annually to keep this precision tool in tip-top condition and get tips on use. The annual option give you customised handle colors and free membership of the EZ-dig™ Klub™! EZ-dig™ "Dig your way to success!!!"

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by pTamok on Wednesday April 03, @08:25AM

    by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday April 03, @08:25AM (#1351466)

    ...then people will eat pabulum.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by looorg on Wednesday April 03, @11:44AM (4 children)

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday April 03, @11:44AM (#1351480)

    AI music? Great. Just what we (don't) need. More modern music that sounds exactly the same or as some version of something that is currently popular. All music will become like elevator muzak, something that just drones on in the background. It's that or we are all basically going to be rick-rolled by the AI around the clock. Cause it will be like "make me more songs that sounds like some_artist but with more something something" or "what if Elvis was sang gangsta rap!".

    I don't foresee a lot of great creativity here, more of a novelty and then copies of copies of copies.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Gaaark on Wednesday April 03, @08:37PM (3 children)

      by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday April 03, @08:37PM (#1351524) Journal

      Tried to get it to make me a signature song: can't put in band names like 'Van Halen".

      Leave it blank and you get 'up-beat' garbage.
      Put in 'hard rock' and you get easy listening 'hard rock'.

      Didn't like anything it came up with: too much music for teeny-boppers/Taylor Swift/Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction...

      Yeah...meh....i'll pass.

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Rich on Thursday April 04, @12:12AM (2 children)

        by Rich (945) on Thursday April 04, @12:12AM (#1351568) Journal

        Will it give you proper ordinary hard rock if you ask it for "death metal", then? What about oddly specific things like: "an uptempo rock'n'roll and heavy metal crossover song sung by a singer characterized by strong alcohol and tobacco use with a d-beat rhythm bassline played using power chords on a rickenbacker 4003 bass guitar through two distorting marshall stacks"?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04, @08:40AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04, @08:40AM (#1351629)

          Gaark seems to be expecting mind reading or something, is hard rock really that specific a term? He should be worried if it uses his browser histories and Internet profile to guess what he means by hard rock... 🤣

          Seems to be not too bad if you're more specific: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-DyGk5sGHc [youtube.com]

          It will still ignore some prompts etc sometimes. So might have to burn credits ($$ if you're a subscriber and no longer on free plan) with retries.

          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday April 04, @10:45AM

            by Gaaark (41) on Thursday April 04, @10:45AM (#1351634) Journal

            Taking your link as an example:

            I heard generic, kiddy porn rock (see bad Nickleback).

            Nothing exciting.

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Snotnose on Wednesday April 03, @01:14PM (2 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday April 03, @01:14PM (#1351483)

    Humans doing the hard jobs for minimum wage while robots write poetry and paint is not the future I envisioned.

    --
    My ducks are not in a row. I don't know where some of them are, and I'm pretty sure one of them is a turkey.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Wednesday April 03, @02:09PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 03, @02:09PM (#1351489) Journal

      It will all work out in the end.

      Robots will create enough wealth to feed the unemployed.

      Robots will create enough unemployed to feed the robots.

      --
      To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Wednesday April 03, @02:35PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 03, @02:35PM (#1351490) Journal

        I would just like to point out that this creates a sustainable cycle for the ongoing peaceful coexistence of robots and humans.

        --
        To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
  • (Score: 2, Troll) by gtomorrow on Wednesday April 03, @01:42PM

    by gtomorrow (2230) on Wednesday April 03, @01:42PM (#1351485)

    Why all the fuss? At least speaking from a "Western" musical standpoint, there are only twelve semitones, a finite number of arrangement permutations of those semitones (mostly) following set musical conventions plus variation of rhythms and tempos. When talking about pop music, it gets even simpler regardless of sub-genre: it's predominantly in 4/4 time and resolving to the tonic with mainly 1-4-1, 1-5-1, 1-4-5 (standard blues), 1-m6-4(or m2)-5 (think "Blue Moon" or "Enola Gay"). Choose your instrumentation (or not), which also follows set formulas and you have music. Depending how jarring or off-standards you want to compose, you can always add elements of musique concrete.

    My point being is that a computer AI can do that and easily. It's comparable to Deep Blue, I'd imagine. Any of this "human touch" or "hit record" nonsense is psychological projection of the listener and/or marketing. There's astoundingly less "Uncanny Valley" with audio. We all like what we like and make up reasons afterward.

  • (Score: 2) by bloodnok on Wednesday April 03, @06:42PM (5 children)

    by bloodnok (2578) on Wednesday April 03, @06:42PM (#1351509)

    The fact that music listeners so vastly outnumber music-makers at the moment is "so lopsided," he argues, seeing Suno as poised to fix that perceived imbalance.

    Why do they think that is something that needs to be fixed. The Terminator was also designed to fix that balance: doesn't make it a good thing.

    If they want to fix something, how about training an AI to write useful documentation for code that has none? Or to do fact-checking. Or design sane tax legislation. Generally to do things that need doing that aren't being done.

    __
    The Major

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday April 03, @07:28PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 03, @07:28PM (#1351518) Journal

      Or design sane tax legislation.

      But then, what would congress do all day?

      --
      To transfer files: right-click on file, pick Copy. Unplug mouse, plug mouse into other computer. Right-click, paste.
      • (Score: 2) by bloodnok on Thursday April 04, @04:09PM

        by bloodnok (2578) on Thursday April 04, @04:09PM (#1351659)

        But then, what would congress do all day?

        If the AIs can manage legislation, then maybe congress can take some uplifting remedial art classes to fill the void left by the AIs that have moved into their role.

        __
        The Major

    • (Score: 2) by weirsbaski on Thursday April 04, @04:49AM (2 children)

      by weirsbaski (4539) on Thursday April 04, @04:49AM (#1351605)

      Or design sane tax legislation.

      Everybody (except tax-prep companies) wants a saner tax system, the argument is what constitutes "sane".

      Is "sane" a flat tax (b/c the rich create jobs) or is "sane" a graduated tax (because the rich already get massively disproportionate benefits)? Standard deduction for everybody? Marriage-penalty or being-single penalty? Tax breaks for churches? Tax breaks for going green? Tax breaks for single parents? Etc, etc.

      Where I live the answers change some every 2 years, and change massively every time a new POTUS is elected.

      • (Score: 2) by bloodnok on Thursday April 04, @04:05PM

        by bloodnok (2578) on Thursday April 04, @04:05PM (#1351658)

        the argument is what constitutes "sane".

        I'd say that sane is one that ordinary citizens can navigate without an accountant or supercomputer.

        There is way too much complexity in current tax systems. You can build progressive, regressive, high rates, low rates or whatever into a much simpler tax system than any I've come across.

        You can have sane left-leaning tax systems, or sane right-leaning ones. What we currently have are insane, legacy-riddled systems of massive complexity, with more special cases than you can shake a stick at. The only people that benefit from this are tax accountants, and last I checked they do not have the sort of population majority that should make them a priority for a democratic government.

        __
        The major

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, @08:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 05, @08:22PM (#1351787)

        Tax breaks for churches?

        No

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RamiK on Wednesday April 03, @09:15PM

    by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday April 03, @09:15PM (#1351533)

    Generic, but very impressive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-DyGk5sGHc&t=128s [youtube.com]

    --
    compiling...
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