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Music Platform CEO says AI is not the Enemy

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Musicians around the world have described artificial intelligence as a threat to creativity, but the CEO of one popular platform told AFP he thinks critics are looking at it all wrong.

BandLab, a mostly free online music workstation and distribution platform based in Singapore, has more than 100 million registered users.

It recently incorporated an AI music creation tool dubbed SongStarter, which generates song ideas from genre, key, tempo and lyric prompts.

For BandLab founder and CEO Kuok Meng Ru, whose company bought music magazine NME in 2019, AI is no substitute for a real musician.

“It’s not called SongFinisher. It’s called SongStarter. It’s not trying to replace people’s creativity… (with) a vending machine approach of a magic button where you press and a song comes out,” Kuok said in an interview with AFP.

“You still need to use your human creativity to build on that, to turn it into something.” Proponents of easy-to-use apps like BandLab say they have revolutionised the music industry by allowing artists to be their own producers, and by bringing cheap bedroom recordings into the charts.

But many musicians are concerned that AI will be used to replicate voices and sounds, and also that it will become even harder for professional artists to sustain themselves in a brutally competitive industry.

“The definition of music creators will change. In the same way previously not everyone thought of themselves as a videographer or a photographer. Today, with a mobile phone, everybody is a hyper-casual photographer,” he added.

Among the newer AI functions being rolled out is Voice Cleaner, designed to enhance the quality of vocal recordings.

Kuok wants AI critics to look at the tech not as an end to human creativity but as a tool that enhances it.

Source : Khaleej Times