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Beyonce’s new album ‘Cowboy Carter’ is a musical statement against artificial intelligence

Beyoncé’s “Cowboy Carter” has only been out for a few days, but it’s clear we’ll be talking about it for years to come — it’s breaking records on streaming platforms and the artist herself has called it “the best music” [she’s] Did. ” But in a press release for “Cowboy Carter,” Beyoncé made a surprising statement against the growing role of artificial intelligence in music.

“The joy of making music is there are no rules,” Beyoncé said. “The more I see the world evolving, the more I feel a deeper connection to purity. With artificial intelligence, digital filters and programming, I want to get back to real instruments.”

Beyoncé rarely gives interviews, which makes every comment about her new album all the more important — they serve as one of the few starting points for fans to help them understand each element of the album and how it fits together together. So her stance on artificial intelligence is more than just a casual comment made while talking to reporters. This is intentional.

The main objection to AI-generated art comes from the way the technology works. AI-powered music generator could Create new track Mimic an artist’s voice in minutes horrifyingly convincing degree. In some cases, this is because AI is being trained on the work of artists whose jobs may eventually be replaced by AI.

Both large language models and communication models require vast databases of text, images, and sounds to create AI-generated works. Some of the most prominent AI companies, such as Open AI and Stability AI, use data sets containing copyrighted artwork without consent. While Stability AI’s music model is trained on licensed stock music, the company’s image generator, Stable Diffusion, is not. Ed Newton-Rex, Vice President of Audio, Stability AI quit the job In this regard, because he “[doesn’t] Agree with the company that training generative AI models on copyrighted works is ‘fair use’. “

It’s no wonder artists like Beyoncé have strong feelings about the technology — too many AI models are trained on artists’ work without their consent, especially for emerging music without influencer support For experts, it will be more difficult to train their artificial intelligence models. Breaking into an already cutthroat industry. Beyonce’s stance makes more sense in the context of “Cowboy Carter” itself.

While not explicitly discussing artificial intelligence, Cowboy Carter has addressed the issue of theft and appropriation of art without consent. On the album itself, Beyoncé is giving listeners a history lesson about how black musicians laid the foundation for country music, which is often considered representative of white Southern culture.

Even the title “Cowboy Carter” hints at black music for the benefit of white people. While “Carters” may refer to Beyoncé’s married name, it’s also a nod to country music’s “first family,” the Carters—who drew on the work of black musicians to develop what we now know country style, which continues to evolve. Excluding black artists (just recently, an Oklahoma country radio station recently denied a listener’s request to play Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” because Beyoncé didn’t fit their definition of a country artist). Beyoncé’s seemingly casual stance on artificial intelligence reveals a similar truth: Once again, artists’ work is being stolen without their consent and twisted into something else, leaving them unable to be paid or recognized for their cultural Receive honors for your contributions.

There are several moments on the album where ninety-year-old country icon Willie Nelson appears on a radio show called “Smoke Hour,” and its first appearance precedes “Texas Hold ‘Em.” The song’s placement takes on an extra layer of meaning in light of the Oklahoma radio station incident, with Nelson giving a little jab: “Now, for this next track, I want you all to sit back, take a breath, and go to good side.” Where your thoughts like to wander. If you don’t want to go, find a jukebox. “

This is Beyoncé’s world: jukeboxes and radios are back in style, black musicians can make any kind of music they want, and no one’s art is stolen.

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