K-Pop AI Revolution: Will Technology Enhance or Erode Artistic Authenticity?

Categories: AI NewsTags: , , , Published On: July 11, 20243.4 min read

Divided Fans Over AI in K-Pop


Artificial intelligence is becoming a hotly debated topic among K-pop fans. Major stars in the genre, including the popular boy band Seventeen, have begun incorporating AI into their music videos and songwriting processes.

Seventeen’s AI Experiment

Seventeen, a highly successful South Korean group that sold around 16 million albums last year, has sparked conversation with their latest album and single, “Maestro.” The music video features AI-generated scenes, and the album may include AI-generated lyrics. During the album launch in Seoul, band member Woozi explained that they are “experimenting” with AI in their songwriting. “We practised making songs with AI, as we want to develop along with technology rather than complain about it,” Woozi said, highlighting the need to leverage technological advancements.

Fan Reactions

The use of AI in K-pop has polarized fans. Some believe more regulations are necessary before AI becomes normalized in the industry. Others, like 26-year-old super fan Ashley Peralta, are more accepting of AI’s role in overcoming creative blocks but worry about losing the emotional connection to artists. “I love it when music reflects an artist’s emotions,” Ashley said, stressing the importance of personal involvement in music creation.

Impact on Authenticity

Ashley and her podcast co-host Chelsea Toledo, who run “Spill the Soju,” expressed concerns about AI’s impact on Seventeen’s reputation as a self-producing group. Chelsea fears that AI-generated lyrics could make their music feel less authentic. “If they put out an album full of lyrics they hadn’t personally written, it wouldn’t feel like Seventeen anymore,” she said.

AI in K-pop industry

AI in K-pop industry

Industry Insights on AI

Progressive Approach in K-Pop

Chris Nairn, a producer and composer known as Azodi, has extensive experience in the K-pop industry. He acknowledges that South Korea’s music industry is highly innovative and forward-thinking. “Koreans are big on innovation and always look for the next big thing,” he said, noting that it’s not surprising to see AI being used in lyric writing.

AI’s Limitations

Despite the industry’s progressive stance, Chris believes AI lyrics currently lack the quality needed for top-tier artists. “AI produces good quality stuff, but the best songwriters innovate and create something new,” he explained. Chris predicts that AI’s involvement in K-pop will increase the demand for more personal and heartfelt songs from artists.

Broader Implications of AI in K-Pop

Other AI-Driven Projects

Seventeen isn’t the only K-pop group exploring AI. Girl group Aespa, known for having AI-generated members, used the technology in their music video for “Supernova.” The video featured AI-generated scenes where only the mouths of band members moved, sparking a mixed reaction from fans.

Concerns Over Originality and Credit

Chelsea Toledo is worried about artists not receiving proper credit due to AI’s involvement. “With AI in videos, it’s harder to know if someone’s original artwork has been stolen,” she said. Arpita Adhya, a music journalist and K-pop superfan, believes the pressure to constantly produce new content has normalized AI’s use in the industry. “K-pop groups push out albums every six to eight months due to high demand,” she noted, calling for regulation of AI-generated content.

Calls for Regulation

Western artists like Billie Eilish and Nicki Minaj have also called for regulations to prevent the “predatory” use of AI in the music industry. They urged tech firms to avoid developing AI tools that undermine human artistry. Arpita echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the need for clear guidelines to help fans and artists navigate AI’s role in music.

Future of AI in K-Pop

Fans’ Influence on AI Use

Arpita is hopeful that fan influence will drive positive change. “Fans have a lot of influence over artists,” she said, expressing confidence that groups like Seventeen and Aespa will respond to public opinion and adjust their use of AI accordingly. The debate over AI in K-pop highlights the tension between technological advancement and the preservation of artistic authenticity.

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