It's a 'Grotesque Mockery of What It Is to Be Human'

Nick Cave is NOT a fan of ChatGPT song written in his style
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2023 8:58 AM CST
It's a 'Grotesque Mockery of What It Is to Be Human'
Australian artist Nick Cave looks on during a press conference to promote his exhibition 'Stranger Than Kindness' in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Nov. 2, 2020.   (Olafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau via AP)

Safe to say you can count Nick Cave in the camp opposed to the popular ChatGPT artificial intelligence tool. A fan of the Australian singer sent Cave a song written by the chatbot in his distinctive style, reports the Guardian, and Cave described it as a "grotesque mockery of what it is to be human" in a response on his blog, The Red Hand Files. Among Cave's beefs:

  • “Writing a good song is not mimicry, or replication, or pastiche, it is the opposite,” he writes. “It is an act of self-murder that destroys all one has strived to produce in the past. It is those dangerous, heart-stopping departures that catapult the artist beyond the limits of what he or she recognises as their known self."
  • The "emerging horror of AI" can "never be rolled back, or slowed down, as it moves us toward a utopian future, maybe, or our total destruction," complains Cave. "Who can possibly say which? Judging by this song ‘in the style of Nick Cave’ though, it doesn’t look good. ... The apocalypse is well on its way. This song sucks.”

For those unfamiliar, the 65-year-old Cave (frontman for the Bad Seeds) is a broody singer. As Rolling Stone puts it, his songs "are tinged with a healthy dose of death, forlorn love, and religion." The magazine thinks the chatbot did a "somewhat convincing" job of Cave mimicry with lines like "I am the sinner, I am the saint / I am the darkness, I am the light," but it concludes that the song "missed the humanity of a human-derived work." It wasn't all bad in Cave's view: He liked the line "‘I’ve got the fire of hell in my eyes," though he adds that, in this case, the fire of hell in his eyes is ChatGPT. (More artificial intelligence stories.)

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