People get really worked up about artificial intelligence (AI). Sure, it can be a scary thing because it is so unknown. But we are a long way from AI completely taking control of the human race (I hope!). So it makes sense that Paul McCartney has had to soothe concerns over his hinting at AI having a part of a "new" Beatles song that should come out later this year.
In June, McCartney did an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today program and mentioned using AI to "extricate" the late John Lennon's voice. The problem with that is that McCartney didn't say specifically that Lennon's voice wouldn't be some kind of AI iteration. Because McCartney didn't say Lennon's real voice is used on the track, titles of articles everywhere might have caused an unneeded social media frenzy.
Heck, even the title of the BBC article (link above) seemed to imply that McCartney may have replaced John Lennon real with John Lennon fake. The title read, "Sir Paul McCartney says artificial intelligence has enabled a 'final' Beatles song." That makes it sound as if McCartney created the entire track using AI and that's not the case.
Paul McCartney clarifies the use of AI on the Beatles "new" song
McCartney was basically forced to clarify his comments during the interview. He said "nothing has been artificially created" on the new record. Whew. So we can relax a bit.
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The name of the song remains unconfirmed but many news sites have speculated that the song will be a Lennon-penned 1978 unreleased track called "Now and Then." AI is being used to take Lennon's recorded voice from the song and using that as part of the mix for the new record. We don't know exactly what the song will sound like, but it will probably be a lot less scary than many people found the idea of creating Lennon's voice with AI would be.
As far as McCartney goes, he will be doing a short tour in Australia and New Zealand beginning in October. Let's hope the tour turns into something more worldwide.