Nick Cave wants ChatGPT to “leave songwriting alone”

In an interview with the New Yorker, Nick Cave shared a message for ChatGPT: “fuck off and leave songwriting alone”.

“This song sucks” was Nick Cave’s blunt reply to a fan who shared an AI generated ‘Nick Cave’ song on Twitter earlier this year. The Australian singer isn’t known for holding back his opinions, and his disdain towards ChatGPT was no exception.

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Cave elaborated, explaining that it isn’t AI itself that he objects to, but that programs like ChatGPT can make the delicate art of songwriting seem “so mundane that it can be replicated by a machine”. 

Nick Cave
Credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns/Getty

To Cave, songs generated by AI prompt “a kind of sad, disappointed feeling”, one that is echoed by many. Though some writers have embraced ChatGPT, Cave has voiced the emotions and concerns of many authors, poets, playwrights and lyricists, who fear their passions may soon be rendered meaningless. For those who pour their souls into these art forms, pieces written by AI can feel like a blow to their entire being.

Programs like ChatGPT lack the rich internal world required to create true art. They have no emotions, experiences, creative impulses or human limitations, all of which Cave believes are crucial. “Art has to do with our limitations, our frailties, and our faults as human beings […] 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,” he continued. “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”.

Nick Cave
Credit: Joel Ryan

The world is filled with gifted and imaginative souls who piece fragments of their lives – the good, the bad, and the in between – together in ways that astonish, move and inspire. Art stems from pain, loss, love and hope, emotions that AI will never be able to replicate.

Like all art, songwriting requires that creative spark that stems from human experience. In Cave’s words, “There’s no earthly reason why we need to invent a technology that can mimic this most beautiful and mysterious creative act”. 

“So, I don’t know, in my humble opinion ChatGPT should just fuck off and leave songwriting alone.”