“I don’t value creativity for the sake of creativity” Creators debate the value of AI-produced music

What’s more important in music-making: the journey or the final jam?

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Music Matters Day 2

Image: Crystal Koe

A discussion about the value of AI-produced music at the recent Music Matters conference in Singapore left creators divided.

Day 2 of Music Matters had Jako de Leon (Creators and Influencers Council of the Philippines President), Johnathan Chua (GRVTY Media CEO), and Mohamad Fattal (Alfan Founder & CEO) sharing their insights on how creators can work alongside AI to build a sustainable career.

Asked if content and music produced using AI should be valued more or less than something “organically produced”, Chua had this to say: “I don’t value creativity for the sake of creativity.”

“I would value the song that I like better. Even if one was generated and one was written with blood. I would prefer the one that I like. I don’t care how it was made.”

Describing his approach as a “free market kind of ideology”, he explained that “at the end of the day in modern pop music we figured out that many of the songs can be played in a similar harmony.”

“If AI is what’s going to get us to expand that and end this phase a little faster… and create the next wave of creatives who would rise to the top and that’s going to evolve music further then I think it’s fine.”

Beside him, Jako offered an alternative view. Presented with the choice between an AI program that could make anyone sound like Justin Bieber and a physical person who sounds just like the pop star, Jako said: “I will support someone who’s doing it creatively rather than someone who’s just doing it out of a machine.”

His rationale? To minimise support for possible bad actors who try to pass off AI-generated work as human.

Meanwhile, Fattal mentioned how consumers don’t always care about the creative process behind the content so long as they can get the best product for the cheapest price. “But when you talk to creators and artists, it’s always like ‘I put so much passion and energy, why are people not using it.’ Where is the middle ground?” He questioned.

Elsewhere throughout the conference, panels of artists and industry executives discussed the rise of virtual creators, how to create new unique experiences for fans, and how to navigate a career in music in the wake of AI.

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