Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan: 'AI will change music forever'

Originally published at: Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan: 'AI will change music forever' | Boing Boing

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Barry Youre Not Wrong GIF by HBO

They also predicted the pervasive use of Autotune would lead to crappier music and that, too, was proven accurate.


Too bad AI will not change the asshole political leanings of irrelevant rock stars.


We’re all going to be living in tents and caves again pretty soon anyway.

The good musicians will get invited to the campfire and be able to get food.


We needed Billy Corgan to tell us this? He so smart he be.


Quick someone get Kanye to talk about AI. It’s So Important to hear it from shitheads.


Hopefully an AI Billy Corgan would have the asshole-ness trained out. We can dream.


Everything that makes art easier to produce leads to a lot more bad art, but I think ultimately better art too. For AI I’d still worry much more about the line between “makes art easier” and “uses other art without credit or compensation”, which does actually hurt things.


I think that’s fair. “Make the process of producing art accessible to more people” is probably a net good. I’m no historian (we have so many good ones here anyway!) but I wager that instruments being available to less affluent classes, ease of printing, watercolours, cameras, coloured pencils/crayons, heck, even mixtapes probably lead to explosions of the sort of art access to those tools and technologies facilitate. A lot of lower-quality art, sure, but that also comes with being able to, say, paint a picture without expanding canvas or a photo without film, or indeed, an ai-generated backing track without having to get a band together.

A student who can make an indie film on their phone doesn’t diminish high-end film production, it just makes a lot more indie film producers gain insights that were previously available only to the lucky few with access to film equipment, etc.


Art wasn’t “destroyed” by the advent of photography; arguably, it freed up artists to create. Impressionism is a direct reaction to the advent of photography.

For now, AI is a quick and easy way to make illustrations, but it can’t tweak work in the same way an artist can, it can’t be used for storyboarding or different views for design or concepts. Leaving aside the ethics of how it is “trained”, for utility, it’s only at the level of a sketch. If an AI can replace your art, well, sorry kid…

Music is the same - if you want genuine creativity, you need a human being.

Unless we get the future where kids love AI jingles like in Demolition Man, in which case I need a new career…


Honestly, the way I think AI + music is going to go is this:

Step 1 (in progress, mostly done): Big company buys all the music libraries
Step 2: Generate new songs using libraries bought
Step 3: Invest some of massive profits into tech to detect if other people are generating music from songs you own, and sue the hell out of everyone

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There aren’t enough caves

There might be enough tents … but they’ll wear out

What is art? Not the first time the criteria for art has been challenged

Thank you!

Is there a word for things that at once give feelings of both “wow, that’s profound” and “I feel like everyone spotted that except me”?

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Not a word, but a phrase: Lucky 10000.


I am defining abandoned and crumbling highway overpasses as the new caves here.

I already have one staked out. Nice little number near the water.

As always, Billy Corgan is a day late and a dollar short. I’m surprised anybody still listens to anything he has to say.

I’d be derelict in my duties if I didn’t share this wonderful and relevant bit of satire as well:


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