The Decemberists Colin Meloy prompts ChatGPT to write a song, and then records the 'mediocre' result

Colin Meloy, frontman of the indie rock band The Decemberists, won't be out of a songwriting job anytime soon. He recently asked AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT to write a Decemberists-esque song and it spit out "Sailor's Song," which he then recorded. He writes, "For the record, this is a remarkably mediocre song. I wouldn't say it's a terrible song, though it really flirts with terribleness." You can give it a listen over at his Substack, Colin Meloy's Machine Shop. [via Andy Baio]

But I think you'd agree that there's something lacking, beyond the little obvious glitches — the missed or repeated rhymes, the grammatical mistakes, the overall banality of the content. Getting the song down, I had to fight every impulse to better the song, to make it resolve where it doesn't otherwise, to massage out the weirdnesses. I wanted to stay as true to its creator's vision as possible, and at the end, there's just something missing. I want to say that ChatGPT lacks intuition. That's one thing an AI can't have, intuition. It has data, it has information, but it has no intuition. One thing I learned from this exercise: so much of songwriting, of writing writing, of creating, comes down to the creator's intuition, the subtle changes that aren't written as a rule anywhere — you just know it to be right, to be true. That's one thing an AI can't glean from the internet.