Looks like Nick Cave really dislikes ChatGPT.
In a new interview with The New Yorker magazine, Cave had a chat with interviewer Amanda Petrusich about grief, his latest North American tour, and the presence of artificial intelligence (AI) in society like ChatGPT.
On ChatGPT, Cave was asked: “… does it make you concerned, or conversely, would ChatGPT’s inability to write a good song somehow help us value creative work more?”
The Red Right Hand singer answered that it’s “insulting” that some people think creative pursuits like songwriting can be replicated by a machine.
Cave then goes on about what it takes to write a good song and how it relates to what it means to be human:
“Maybe A.I. can make a song that’s indistinguishable from what I can do. Maybe even a better song. But, to me, that doesn’t matter—that’s not what art is. Art has to do with our limitations, our frailties, and our faults as human beings. It’s the distance we can travel away from our own frailties.”Nick Cave
In the end, he said:
“So, I don’t know, in my humble opinion, ChatGPT should just fuck off and leave songwriting alone.”
Nick Cave’s disdain
AI has been all the rage in 2023, and OpenAI’s release of GPT-4 already has tech enthusiasts asking for GPT-5.
However, it’s not the first time the legendary singer expressed disdain for ChatGPT. In January, a fan from New Zealand named Mark wrote him a letter and showed him a song written in the singer’s style using ChatGPT:
I am the singer, I am the saint
I am the darkness, I am the light
I walk the streets, with my head held high
I’ve got my demons, but I’ll make them fly…
“What do you think?” the fan asked. Cave penned a lengthy response and told him that the song “sucks”:
“Mark, thanks for the song, but with all the love and respect in the world, the song is bullshit…”
He said that he’s been sent dozens of similar letters, but he just doesn’t “feel the same enthusiasm around its technology.”
In both The New Yorker interview and his fan letter, Cave’s reason for loathing ChatGPT is similar. That they make a “mockery” of what it means to be human, and that a cold machine would never be able to recreate what he calls “the true transcendent artistic experience” that is songwriting.