Pop Star Madonna Joins AI Chorus

Pop Star Madonna Joins AI Chorus

Pop star Madonna is the latest global superstar to adopt artificial intelligence in her work. The “Holiday” hit singer recently used text-to-video technology to create visual effects for a concert during her Celebration Tour, which is currently running.

Madonna’s team deployed AI to give a Caribbean feel to a concert video of her 1986 hit song, La Isla Bonita.

They used New York-based start-up Runway to generate the background video of moving images of swirling, sunset-tinted clouds instead of Sora, which has been making headlines in text-to-video technology.

Explaining the creative process, Sasha Kasiuha, who was the concert’s creative director, said AI delivered the feel they were looking for better than designers.

“We tried CGI; it looked pretty bland and cheesy, and she did not like it. And then we decided to try AI,” she said.

The decision to use AI was to improve a video that was already in existence, and according to Kasiuha, the request from Madonna was to make the images cleaner and crispier.

She added that Madonna has been a long-time lover of new technology and visual approaches.

By using this technology, she joins a growing list of creatives who have been using AI to improve their performance offerings.

‘AI works better when complementing’

Runway Chief Executive Officer, Christobal Valuzela, said the best way to get the most out of the platform is to improve on an existing idea like Madonna did.

In December 2023, Japanese pianist Hiroko Higashino, who was born with three fingers on her right hand, played Beethoven’s classics using an AI-powered piano.

The power of AI in music performances has even allowed the reimagination of performances by artists who have died. In January, a London virtual reality company, Layered Reality, secured rights to do a hologram concert for Elvis Presley, which is set to be staged in Tokyo, Las Vegas, and Berlin.

Artists now have to dig deeper

Although the progress made is still small compared to what AI can achieve, music critics have argued that some musicians will not withstand the changes this technology brings.

What at face value appears like a tool to make lives easier can replace the artists entirely.

According to them, only those with an authentic texture to their art will last the distance and withstand the disruption of technology.

There is more to where the technology came from

Experts believe that the limitations AI technology is facing, especially in text-to-video, will not persist for long.

This is likely to see more use and continued improvement in the application of the technology in music and other spheres.

Alexander Waibel, a computer science researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, said the jerky glitches and the identifiable distortions can be fixed by “data and more training.”

Music industry players have been apprehensive about the growing use of AI in content creation, as it can potentially affect jobs, but artists are embracing the technology as they are getting a competitive advantage in its use.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.