Nick Cave criticizes an AI effort to compose lyrics for him.

A computer program that attempted to produce a song “in the style of Nick Cave” has received harsh criticism from Nick Cave.

The lead singer of The Bad Seeds responded after receiving lyrics from ChatGPT, a chatbot that can be programmed to mimic other people’s writing styles.

With lines like “I am the sinner, I am the saint,” it took a convincing shot at Cave’s gloomy religious iconography.

The singer, however, referred to the outcomes as “a tragedy” and “a hideous joke”.

Cave stated in his email The Red Hand Files that “ChatGPT is, in this instance, replication as farce.”

“It might eventually produce a song that appears to be an exact clone of the original, but it will always be a copy, a sort of burlesque.

“Songs are based on the intricate, internal human battle of creation, and as far as I’m aware, algorithms don’t feel. Therefore, songs are born out of agony. Data is not harmed.

“ChatGPT has no inner being, it has never been through anything, it has never had the boldness to push beyond its constraints, and as a result, it does not have the capacity for a shared transcendent experience because it has no restrictions from which to transcend.”

‘The apocalypse is on its way’

The musician noted that “dozens” of admirers had submitted him songs created by ChatGPT since it went live in November, “most buzzing with a kind of algorithmic wonder.”

But he didn’t share their enthusiasm.

“I understand that ChatGPT is in its infancy but perhaps that is the emerging horror of AI – that it will forever be in its infancy, as it will always have further to go, and the direction is always forward, always faster.

“It can never be rolled back, or slowed down, as it moves us toward a utopian future, maybe, or our total destruction. 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.”

It may sound like I’m taking all this a little too personally, but I’m a songwriter who is now engaged in the songwriting process, said Cave, who is working on a new album with the Bad Seeds.

It takes a lot of blood and sweat to start the new, original idea, and I have to put part of that into it here at my desk. It necessitates my humanity.

ChatGPT, which was introduced last year, is trained on a vast amount of data, allowing it to forecast how to connect words together meaningfully.

It has been used by students to compose essays, programmers to create websites, and Ryan Reynolds to write an advertisement for his mobile network.

However, this software and similar ones have prompted concerns about morality and copyright.

Millions of books, websites, forum postings, and Wikipedia pages are included in ChatGPT’s training data, which may include some of Nick Cave’s copyrighted works.

However, unless they directly copy copyrighted words or musical excerpts, songs and lyrics “created in the style of” another artist are not legally protected.

Meredith Rose, policy counsel at Public Knowledge, told The Verge last year: “I think courts and our general sense would say, ‘Well, if an algorithm is solely fed Beyonc√© songs and the result is a piece of music, it’s a robot.

There is nothing original there and it is obvious that it couldn’t have added anything to this.

The issue was thrust into the spotlight last year when Jason M Allen won an art prize with a work he had created using Midjourney, an artificial intelligence system that produces images from simple text prompts.

“This thing wants our jobs, it’s actively anti-artist”, wrote California-based movie and game concept artist RJ Palmer in a tweet liked more than 25,000 times.

In subsequent posts, he highlighted how well the output of AI systems could imitate living artists. In one case he examined, the AI even attempted to reproduce artists’ signatures.

“Culturally, it just doesn’t seem like it’s going away,” technologist Andy Baio recently¬†told US business magazine Fast Company.

“It may just be a thing that people have to live with. The only way to fight this would be in court, and artists don’t have those kinds of resources.”

However, he added, it is possible that a company like Disney could take AI firms to court and force them to reveal the content their software was trained on – which would ultimately force them to keep their data above board.

Whatever happens, Nick Cave is certain that AI will never capture the raw humanity of his own work.

But he did highlight one line in the AI-generated song that spoke to him.

“‘I’ve got the fire of hell in my eyes’, says the song ‘in the style of Nick Cave’, and that’s kind of true,” he wrote.

“I have got the fire of hell in my eyes – and it’s ChatGPT.”