Hannah Diamond Has Cracked the Code of Using AI for Music


Since final November, when OpenAI unleashed the world-conquering ChatGPT, artificial intelligence has stalked creatives like a malignant doppelgänger. You, a presumably human artist, return to work, and AI is there, drawing your comedian, writing your script, appearing in your home. Your artistry—your id—has been changed by a pc program.

Hannah Diamond is aware of that feeling. Today, she’s an acclaimed member of PC Music, the influential London-based label answerable for pioneering the glitchy shimmering sound of the style typically dubbed hyperpop. But in 2013, the 12 months she and A.G. Cook based PC Music, it was simply the 2 of them in Cook’s bed room, ending off “Pink and Blue,” Diamond’s first hit, her pitch-shifted vocals like a storage edit of a YouTube Kids’ sing-along: Bubblegum popping right into a glittery array of pixels.

After “Pink and Blue” got here out and Diamond’s profession took off, she started noticing a sure type of assume piece. These articles shared a conviction: Diamond wasn’t actual. Instead, she was a mannequin in a pink North Face jacket, and like one thing out of Singing within the Rain, it was Cook backstage, conjuring “Hannah Diamond” on a pc.

What’s extra, when it turned clear that she was a (flesh and blood) lady, she says, the hype dissipated. Of course, it wasn’t computer systems that erased Diamond’s personhood again then, however folks: a bro-y tech subculture that venerates some and never others. “Because all of the things that A.G. and I were doing and making with my work at the time, I think people thought they were [ideas] that couldn’t come from a female perspective, a female face, or a female-led project,” she says. From Diamond’s perspective, it appeared as if these folks wished to presume she was a machine (and, by proxy, a person).

A decade later, synthetic intelligence is heaving artists into the same nightmare wherein AI replaces human creativity—invited in by grasping firms.

These fears are not common. Earlier this month, Creative Commons, the American nonprofit that has lengthy pushed for copyright legal guidelines extra in tune with fashionable occasions, revealed an open letter signed by artists who work with AI. In it, they tackle Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), whose summits, attended by tech royalty, intention to stress Congress to legislate synthetic intelligence. These artists, who, in their very own phrases, use “generative AI tools to help us put soul in our work,” try to push again in opposition to the rising wave of AI acrimony.

The letter notes that regardless of its newfound visibility, AI use stretches again years and has lowered the limitations to creating artwork “that has been traditionally limited to those with considerable financial means, abled bodies, and the right social connections.” It has let folks pioneer “entirely new artistic mediums,” furthering human creativity, in different phrases.

In no artwork type has this been more true than music, the letter notes—opening with a quote from Björk—because the medium has been utilizing “simpler AI tools, such as in music production software, for decades.” For Diamond, and different like-minded musicians on this lineage, AI is simply one other device of their arsenal.

Parallels will be drawn to the early lifetime of PC Music. The query then was: How huge of a pop tune can somebody make with only a mic and a laptop computer? (A decade later, following the ascendance of PC Music and related acts like Charli XCX and Sophie, the reply emerged: large.) The chopped-up vocals of Diamond’s first hits, “Pink and Blue,” “Attachment,” and “Every Night,” she explains, had been merely the cleanest approach to masks any background noise within the dwelling of Cook’s mom. ‘“When you’re faced with limitations, you end up creating a style,” Cook says.


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