Musicians of all types are living, breathing human beings, but recently online platforms have been rocked by a musician who doesn’t exist – at least not in a way we’re used to.
Hip-hop is now in the AI world. Recently, the world witnessed the birth of its first virtual AI rapper for the first time. However, rapper Meka, introduced by Capitol Records to the public, quickly shut it down a few days later, following a backlash.
FN Meka had signed a contract with Capitol. However, a record company representative told the media that they had discontinued the robot. The project has drawn criticism online since news of her signing with Capitol Records began circulating, claiming it was offensive to the black community.
FN Meka is an AI-generated rapper voiced by a human. The rapper has had a huge fanbase on social media. In just over a year since its inception, it has already amassed 10 million followers on TikTok and over a billion views on the video-sharing platform.
Image: – FN Meka
A major criticism against the robot rapper is his use of the N-word in his lyrics. Multiple allegations have been raised against the rapper on various platforms. Other issues include the criticism that the robot perpetuates stereotypes on social media. For example, an Instagram post from Meka’s account shows Meka being beaten by a police officer in a jail cell for “not going to speak out.”
Meka’s problem is a clear case of bias in AI. Much of the formal opposition to the ‘rapper’ has come from a ‘unified body of black industry people committed to changing the community’ known as @industryblkout, which has released scathing reviews of Capitol Records and FN Meka, claiming it was an “abomination”. and disrespectful to real people who face real consequences in real life.
However, it should be noted that the bias of the AI increases due to the data provided to the model by its creators.
Therefore, the real question is whether the problem is with the AI itself or the data fed to it?
Are there other virtual artists?
According to a 2018 article by The Verge, a virtual Korean pop music group called K/DA performed on stage at the League of Legends World Championship Opening Ceremony. Yet another artist is Miquela. According to a website called Virtual Humans, Miquela is a robot.
Gorillaz, according to Virtual Humans, was created by musician Damon Albarn in collaboration with 2D artist Jamies Hewlet as a way for Albarn to showcase his music. In the case of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Virtual Humans describes this band as one of the earliest examples of a musical artist represented by 2D characters. 3D versions of Alvin and the Chipmunks are still being made today.
future of music
With the introduction of AI-based music platforms, fast and cost effective soundtracks that always sound composed can be produced easily. Additionally, an explosion in processing power has made AI a big choice for digital typesetting.
Cases such as Meka’s are one in a million. Although there is a mixed review on the impact of AI rapper in the music industry, there are several benefits due to the use of AI in the industry.
For example, Google’s Magenta is one of the most exciting forays into working with AI to make music and art. The open source research project has spawned many plugins. While tools like this could be firmly assigned to the “experimental” camp, for now, another AI-equipped technology could provide day-to-day assistance inside studios.
Bias issues in AI will always persist in all areas until the humans running the projects learn to manage and eradicate them.