The Beatle’s Newest Song: AI-Fueled Nostalgia and Concerns

by Vern Evans

The world of artificial intelligence has hit another milestone, and this time, it’s in the realm of music. Imagine listening to a song by a legendary band featuring the voices of dead band members brought back to life through the power of AI. That’s precisely what the Beatles have achieved.

The Resurrection of the Beatles

Yes, the Beatles have released a song with the voices of John Lennon and George Harrison, who died decades ago. This latest Beatles release combines nostalgia for die-hard Beatles fans like myself with a blend of excitement and a great degree of concern about the role of AI in our lives.

This latest and supposedly last Beatles song is “Now and Then,” which is part of a double A-side single that pairs it with the band’s 1962 debut UK single, “Love Me Do.” Will it be the last song ever released? Only time and the use of AI will tell.

The Making of the Magical AI

Behind this musical feat is director Oliver Murray, who has created a 12-minute clip featuring exclusive footage and commentary from the band’s surviving members and collaborators. Notably, the clip includes insights from Lennon’s son, Sean Ono Lennon, and filmmaker Peter Jackson, famous for directing not only the Beatles’ documentary series but also cinematic masterpieces like “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.”

Peter Jackson and his team utilized AI to isolate instruments and vocals from original recordings, including Lennon’s 1970s home demo of “Now and Then.” In the process, they developed AI technology that could separate different soundtrack components using machine learning algorithms.

The Pros and Cons of AI in Music

As a dedicated Beatles fan, I’m excited to listen to a new song from the Fab 4. It’s a remarkable demonstration of what AI can do. That’s because AI and machine learning hold tremendous potential for various aspects of our lives. For instance, could we soon witness the creation of brand new movies featuring iconic stars from the past, like John Wayne and Jimmy Cagney, using AI-driven technology? While this opens up exciting possibilities for creativity, it raises some critical concerns.

The Dark Side of AI

One of the most significant concerns surrounding AI is control. Who is pulling the AI strings? Who determines the algorithms, the data, and the information that AI systems use? This is especially relevant as AI expands its influence into the “news” media, social media, and elsewhere. The sad reality is that as the capability of AI increases, the potential of AI-generated deepfake videos and audio will increasingly make it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. That, in turn, will increase the likelihood of manipulating public opinion by those with an agenda and nefarious reasons.

AI and Identity Theft

AI also poses a new dimension of concern concerning identity theft. With a vast amount of personal data available online, from social media posts to photographs, the potential for AI to create convincing fake videos, posts, emails, and so on from everyday individuals is alarming. Over time, this may pose a significant challenge to legal proceedings, relationships, jobs, personal reputation, etc.

Ultimately, with AI in the mix, how will a courtroom battle, a disagreement with a loved one, a boss, and so forth play out? In other words, how can you prove that a piece of evidence, such as a video, an email, or a social media post, is not genuine? Once such content is created and out in the public domain, it can be challenging to correct the narrative, and the damage may be irreversible.

The Bottom Line — The Responsibility Lies with Us

In conclusion, the Beatles’ AI-powered song, “Now and Then,” is a captivating blend of nostalgia and technological marvel. It’s a testament to what AI and machine learning can achieve in the world of music, entertainment, and enjoyment. However, it also serves as a stark reminder of the ethical and societal challenges AI poses.

While AI offers immense potential for innovation and creativity, we as a species must remain vigilant and responsible in its use. Is that possible? I hope so, and I’m not optimistic. Ultimately, we as a species need to ensure that AI enhances rather than undermines our society. As AI continues to evolve, we must strike a delicate balance between progress and ethics to navigate the future effectively and without destroying ourselves.

Do you have thoughts on AI and its impact on the future? If so, please share them in the comments below.

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The Beatle's Newest Song: AI-Fueled Nostalgia and Concerns

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