Nick Cave has already expressed his dismay over the use of generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT, Bing, and Google's recently launched Bard in songwriting, saying, "I do not feel the same enthusiasm around this technology" and "ChatGPT may be able to write a speech or an essay or a sermon or an obituary but it cannot create a genuine song." He's expanded on the subject in a new interview with Amanda Petrusich for The New Yorker, who asks him, "When you see technology used in this way, does it make you concerned, or, conversely, could ChatGPT’s inability to write a good song somehow help us value creative work more?"

"My objection is not with A.I. in general," Nick says in reply. "For better or for worse, we are inextricably immersed in A.I. It is more a kind of sad, disappointed feeling that there are smart people out there that actually think the artistic act is so mundane that it can be replicated by a machine. I find that insulting. There’s no earthly reason why we need to invent a technology that can mimic this most beautiful and mysterious creative act. Particularly writing a song. The thing about writing a good song is that it tells you something about yourself you didn’t already know. That’s the thing. You can’t mimic that. The good song is always rushing forward. It annihilates, to some degree, the songs that you’d previously written, because you are moving forward all the time. That’s what the creative impulse is—it’s both creative and destructive and is always one step ahead of you. These impulses can’t be replicated by a machine. 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. That’s what is so awesome about art: that we deeply flawed creatures can sometimes do extraordinary things. A.I. just doesn’t have any of that stuff going on. Ultimately, it has no limitations, so therefore can’t inhabit the true transcendent artistic experience. It has nothing to transcend! It feels like such a mockery of what it is to be human. A.I. may very well save the world, but it can’t save our souls. That’s what true art is for. That’s the difference. So, I don’t know, in my humble opinion ChatGPT should just fuck off and leave songwriting alone."

Read the interview in full on The New Yorker.

Nick is going on a solo tour with Radiohead's Colin Greenwood on bass this fall, including NYC shows at Kings Theatre on October 6 and Beacon Theatre on October 7. UPDATE: He added more dates, including a new NYC show at Beacon Theatre on October 8. We're also giving away tickets to his NYC shows! See all dates below.

Shop for Nick Cave albums on vinyl in the BV store.

September 19, 2023 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
September 21, 2023 - Durham, NC @ DPAC
September 23, 2023 - Washington, D.C. @ Lincoln Theatre
September 25, 2023 - Cleveland, OH @ Playhouse Square
September 27, 2023 - Milwaukee, WE @ Riverside Theater
September 29, 2023 - Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
October 2, 2023 - Minneapolis, MN @ State Theatre
October 6, 2023 - Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
October 7, 2023 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
October 8, 2023 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
October 10, 2023 - Boston, MA @ Wang Theatre
October 12, 2023 - Montreal, QC @ Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
October 14, 2023 - Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
October 15, 2023 - Detroit, MI @ Masonic Cathedral Theatre
October 17, 2023 - Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
October 20, 2023 - Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Symphony Hall
October 22, 2023 - Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theatre
October 23, 2023 - Austin, TX @ ACL at The Moody
October 27, 2023 - Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre
October 28, 2023 - Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre
October 29, 2023 - Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre

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