Why Fake Drake and AI-Generated Music Are Here to Stay

Gideon: OK. 

Lauren: It’s time for a pop quiz. 

Gideon: Oh no.

Lauren: So you are the editor in chief here at WIRED, and you’ve been talking a lot about AI, so I wanted to see how good you are at telling regular human-made music apart from AI-generated music. 

Gideon: I mean, I can barely tell music by one human apart from another sometimes. So, uh, you know, you might be disappointed, but I will do my best. 

Lauren: OK, here’s the first track.

[Clip of AI Rihanna singing “Cuff It”]

Lauren: Let’s hear the second one. 

[Clip of Beyoncé singing “Cuff It”]

Lauren:  First, I’m curious if you know who the artist is.

Gideon: I have no idea. None whatsoever. 

Lauren: Gideon! Not a card-carrying member of the beehive, are you?

Gideon: I am so not. 

Lauren: That was Beyoncé. 

Gideon: OK. 

Lauren: But which one was actually Beyoncé? 

Gideon: So was one of those definitely AI and the other one was really Beyoncé?

Lauren: Yes. 

Gideon: Uh, wow. Um, I’m gonna say the first one was AI, just because I liked the second one better. 

[Correct Answer bell rings

Lauren: That is correct. 

Gideon: OK. All right. So taste actually plays a part here. 

Lauren: You get to keep your job as the editor in chief of WIRED. 

Gideon: Thank God, I was so worried. 

Lauren: What about the second one did you like more?

Gideon: Here, I’m gonna have to use like music-y words that I don’t know the meaning of, but I just felt like it was, I don’t know, the sounds were more balanced somehow. More harmonic, more … I’m making crap up here. Uh, I just like the sounds better. They felt more like a thought had gone into that song.

Lauren: Yep. Fair enough. Let’s move on to the second pair, which I think is going to be a little bit more challenging. All right, here’s the first track.

[Clip of “Controlla” by Drake]

Lauren: OK, here’s the second one.

[Clip of AI Arianna Grande singing “Controlla”]

Gideon: I’m gonna say that the female voice is the AI-generated one, just because it sounded a little more Auto-Tuned to me. But honestly, if you’d played both of those songs somewhere and I didn’t know that one of them had to be AI generated, I would’ve just said they were both human. 

[Correct Answer bell rings]

Lauren: You are correct. The female voice is AI-generated. The first one was real. That was actually Drake. 

Gideon: OK. So I may be completely useless at music, but at least I can tell an AI from a human when they’re singing. That’s something. 

Lauren: Yes. 

Gideon: That’s what the editor of WIRED should be able to do. Right?

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