While I typically reserve this space for discussions on technology and its applications, something rather extraordinary has caught my attention this week. It's the release of the "new" and "final" Beatles song, "Now and Then", which made its debut on the very morning of this post.
"Now and Then" is not merely a track; it's a time capsule, a resurrection. It started as a John Lennon demo and has now evolved into a full Beatles track, reminiscent of the 1995 releases of "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love." Originally intended to be the third addition alongside them during the "Beatles Anthology" project, its genesis has been extensively covered, with stories and details available across various platforms, including The Beatles' very own YouTube channel.
However, the narrative around "Now and Then" doesn't stop at its creation. What's truly riveting is the conversation it ignites about what comes next.
Maybe you have already encountered the AI-rendered wonders of Elvis singing "Baby Got Back" or Johnny Cash performing Taylor Swift's "Blank Space". Some may dismiss these as AI novelties, far removed from the true impact of technology on the music industry. Yet, I'm inclined to echo a Beatles lyric here: "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." Art and technology have been intertwined since time immemorial. Whether it's splicing tape for new sounds, synthesizers for futuristic tones, or autotune for pitch-perfect vocals, innovation has always been at art's core. The difference now? AI allows for an organic and natural evolution of sounds.
So, where do you stand in this debate? Is AI-generated art a misstep, or is it simply another milestone in the long-standing relationship between art and technology? What about when an AI-generated "Band" produces a chart-topping hit, derived from a century's worth of songwriting and performing data?
One thing is certain: the prospect is exhilarating. The opportunity to witness this blend of technology and creativity, to possibly experience a song as stirring as "Now and Then" created with AI, fills me with anticipation. The Beatles have once again, even indirectly, pushed us to ponder the future of music and art. And that, in itself, is something to celebrate.