Musician Sparks Debate After Releasing AI-Generated Music Video

A major indie artist has addressed the “intense debate” surrounding his latest music video which was entirely generated by OpenAI’s video generator Sora.

Washed Out (real name Ernest Greene) dropped the video for The Hardest Part which was made in collaboration with director Paul Trillo. The AI movie is a continuous dolly shot as it zooms through a couple’s relationship.

“This video is about learning to let go of a loved one and dreaming of them after they are gone,” Trillo writes on Vimeo. “But memories are subjective, distorted mirrors of reality. For this, I leaned into the hallucinations and Sora’s dream logic to explore memories that never existed.”

Backlash Against AI

Washed Out makes chillwave music; a lo-fi genre with a retro pop sound. He is about to release a new album called Notes From a Quiet Life but the Atlanta-based artist has sparked the ire of disgruntled fans who don’t like generative artificial intelligence in his new video. Although he is not the first person to make an entirely AI-generated video, he is the first major talent to do so.

Complaints against AI image generators mainly come down to the way the models were trained on hundreds of millions of images allegedly without the rights holder’s permission.

“I’m not even hearing the music because all I can focus on are some weird mangled AI ‘people’ and creepy as hell movement that’s made by no one and stolen from everyone,” writes Reed Morano on X in a comment that received hundreds of likes.

Washed Out defended the video by saying, “I consider AI art a new genre distinct from traditional filmmaking or even animation, and I admire the technical innovation that led to the creation of these tools.”

The musician compared it to the 1985 Dire Straits video Money For Nothing which features an early 3D computer animation.

“I acknowledge the fact that AI art is a controversial subject and I have other projects in the works that are far from this type of approach,” Washed Out writes. “But I don’t agree that it is as black and white as some commenters have suggested.”

Not all of the responses to The Hardest Part are negative but it is difficult to find many nice things people have to say about the AI video other than saying it looks like a dream thanks to “hallucinations” of the video.

Sora is OpenAI’s forthcoming video generator that currently has no release date but has created plenty of buzz.