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CONWAY, Ark. — Artificial intelligence is everywhere these days. Whether it’s the stories about Chat GPT, A.I.-generated images, or any other type— it feels like everything has something changed by A.I.
At Fretmonkey Records in Conway, owner, and producer Blake Goodwin has seen that for himself.
Goodwin definitely knows music since he has been creating it for years.
“I get to create alongside other people and bring out something that existed in them, and maybe they didn’t know how to do that on their own,” he said. “Pretty much anybody who walks in, I feel confident enough to work with them.”
As his skills have progressed, so have the tools he uses. That’s not just guitars or keyboards, though— it also includes artificial intelligence.
“Just instantly, just have a creative process that would take, you know, maybe a week can take a day now,” Goodwin said. “An expansion of what human creativity can be, the next step in momentum to propel forward and take out a lot of the work that is monotonous.”
He shared how he already uses A.I. to handle the tedious things that would normally take him hours.
“Then you can go in there and do the human tweaks that really, you know, fit it to what the concept is,” he said.
That’s not all. There’s already a lot that A.I. can do for music currently.
Voice, beat, and lyric generation have been trending across TikTok for the past few months. Add all those parts together, and you get covers of songs by artists that never sang them. Or completely fake songs that sound like something the actual artist would release.
Though they may sound good, they’re not liked by some artists and not by companies. Universal Music Group, the ones behind major artists like Drake, sent a letter to Spotify and Apple Music telling them to stop letting A.I. companies have access to their catalogs to help generate the songs.
Goodwin said he also has concerns, but there are benefits as well.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking because it makes you question your field, and like, ‘Oh, do I have a future?'” Goodwin said. “Or you can look at it from a different concept of, ‘How do I adapt and take advantage of it?'”
He isn’t the only one with that mindset.
“If they trust technology, they will take advantage and use it,” Mariofanna Milanova said.
She is a computer science professor at UALR, with decades of A.I. study.
“Speed up the process, and if the person is creative enough and trusts the technology, they can do much, much better than without technology,” she added.
Milanova showed us a few sites that can generate music or parts of it— Jukebox and Musenet.
It can recreate voices or even make compositions combining genres.
One piece she showed us was from a 19th-century composer, mixed with Lady Gaga. It’s quirky, but Milanova wanted to stress to us that this A.I. may not take jobs, but rather make them easier.
“‘I don’t want to lose the job, no you are not losing the job,” she said. “You will have an even better job.”
As time passes, she explained that there needs to be more work done to figure out A.I.’s place in our culture. It’s a tool right now, but she said it is something that needs to be regulated.
“Intersection between technology, governance, standards, and regulations and society,” she said. “So without this intersection, progress will not be possible, but we need to intersect.”
Goodwin is still looking ahead to that change. Right now, A.I. is a tool, and he’s going to keep using it to help make what he loves.
“It’s just going to be something that caters to either help propel us forward or educate us,” he said. “And it’s not to look down on something that could potentially bring out a better future for the creatives.”
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