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What if Artificial Intelligence Wrote Country Songs?

 Can Artificial Intelligence Write a Compelling Country Hit?

We live in an age where artificial intelligence can generate original stories and art that border on creepy. As I’ve been studying the subject, I’ve found plenty of uses for A.I. for comedic purposes, but I wanted to put it to the test through a different, more nuanced subject matter. Let’s see what A.I. can do with Country.

via GIPHY

It started off simple. I’d come up with a phrase that I could see in a country song and let the A.I. do the writing. Keep in mind the bot would just be penning lyrics and not the actual music. I decided to test my theory I’d use lyrics.mathigatti.com. It’s a website with free software, which is very user-friendly. You can adjust the setting to determine how crazy and creative the A.I. will behave in its choices. Since we’re trying to create genuine art, I put the creativity meter to 0.7. Keep in mind that 1.0 is the highest and most out-there setting. There’s no point in wasting any time, right?

I started with some rather stereotypical phrases one would find in a country classic to get the A.I. pointed into a honky tonk bent, so the first phrase I input was, “Back on the ranch, there was home and heaven.”

Here’s what it kicked out:

1. “Back on the ranch, there was home and heaven.”

I didn’t want to go anywhere.
I just wanted to be back on the ranch,
There was home and heaven.
And if I get back you know I’ll be there.

I’ve been running around
Just like a river o’ is to the sea.
But something’s happening here and it’s not too late,
There’s a joltin’ saying there is rain.

And so I’m offering this simple phrase.
It may be true, it may be gloo-be-bop,
But it ain’t too late for you to make your move.

You know that life can go on if you want it,
But keep on movin’,
You know that life can go on if you want it,
But keep on groovin’,
You know that it can go on if you want it.

Ooh, ooh, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.”

So yeah, that not very country. My impression is that these are more akin to disco lyrics. Ya know, what with the “movin’” and “groovin’.” There’s probably a Christmas song in there somewhere, too. How festive.

via GIPHY

Back to the algorithmic (or should I say algo-rhythmic) drawing board! Let’s try a different phrase. I figure that I’d rip off a popular country song to make silicon think it was closer to country as a genre without it copying the actual song. I call it, “Almost Heaven, South Dakota”.

2. “Almost Heaven, South Dakota”

[Chorus]
It’s so easy to say
That you’re trying (but it’s so easy)
I’m amazed
At the wonder of it all

[Verse 1: Redman]
These things happen everyday
When you’ve got something new
Well hello be my savior
You’ll see
In your life there will be hope
It was made for me
And truly I believe
This is truly true when I think I’m saying
You just have to wait
So baby baby please wait

[Hook]

[Verse 2: Redman]
I can’t wait till the date of your demise
I guess it takes a lifetime to get your date
You must have a bit of steak on the side
I know that already been kissed
So why apologize?

Welp, verse 2 just had to go and ruin it. It was going so well, but then the robo-writer had to go and pen excitement over death. How morbid!

via GIPHY

Maybe what we need is tried-and-true country music subject matter: some relationship drama with a twist of an optimistic future. The nerve center of Country & Western.

3. “My Wife Cheated On Me but I’m Okay”

You tried to trap me
But that’s not the way
I’m back on my feet again
You’re not my wife
Cheated on me but I’m okay

I know you’ve been, but you won’t break me
Out of my mind and out of my mind
I know you’ve been, but you won’t break me
Out of my mind and out of my mind
You won’t break me

And it’s not my fault for being
Never having my woman
Away
I don’t want her, I don’t need her
It is a shame because she was never mine
Because she was never mine

I know you’ve been, but you won’t break me
Out of my mind and out of my mind
I know you’ve been, but you won’t break me
Out of my mind and out of my mind
You won’t break me

I think the moral of the story, after generating these 3 songs is as follows…*clears throat*…A.I. ain’t country. It doesn’t know how music lyrics work or why they’re so transcending. Ya know, what makes a hit! 100% science and 0% art, does not an appealing country song make.  Or perhaps artificial intelligence isn’t as intelligent as the programmers would have us believe.

via GIPHY

Let’s just leave it to the professionals. The ones made of flesh and blood with beating hearts (even if they’re broken) and their six-string.

This article is by guest contributor Stockton Myers

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