21st CENTURY QUESTIONS: What Happens to Songwriters When AI Can Generate Music?

If you think 100,000 songs a day going into the market is a big number, “you have no idea what’s coming next,” says Alex Mitchell, founder/CEO of Boomy, a music creation platform that can compose an instrumental at the click of an icon.

Boomy is one of many so-called “generative artificial intelligence” music companies — others include Soundful, BandLab’s SongStarter and Authentic Artists — founded to democratize songwriting and production even more than the synthesizer did in the 1970s, the drum machine in the ’80s and ’90s, digital audio workstations in the 2000s and sample and beat libraries in the 2010s.

In each of those cases, however, trained musicians were required to operate this technology in order to produce songs. The selling point of generative AI is that no musical knowledge or training is necessary. Anyone can potentially create a hit song with the help of computers that evolve with each artificially produced guitar lick or drumbeat.

Not surprisingly, the technology breakthrough has also generated anxiety among professional musicians, producers, engineers and others in the recorded-music industry who worry that their livelihoods could potentially be threatened.

Further thoughts from Rick Beato, who also explores how Auto-Tune destroyed pop music: