A still from King//Colker's newest AI generated music video, "Moment"
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Behold one of the first music videos ever “created” entirely by AI

  • Hope Reese
9/1/2022

Homegrown in Seattle, no less!

What is art? While this has been the subject of debate for centuries, the dawn of artificial intelligence has added a layer of complexity to the question. Today, art is being “created” by algorithms.

Here’s one example: In just one weekend, Jacob Colker and Nick King, of the King//Colker rock duo, created an entire music video using AI. From the privacy of their own respective basements, Colker, managing director of the startup incubator at the Allen Institute for AI, and King, an LA-based filmmaker, used a beta version of OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 to assemble the graphics for the video. In 2021, DALL-E (the marriage of WALL-E and Salvador Dalí), was introduced. This AI system produces images from text—and the latest iteration is claiming to “generate more realistic and accurate images with 4x greater resolution,” according to OpenAI.

DALL-E 2 takes input—a description like “a monkey making pancakes”—and spews out a unique visual to represent the text. Rather than simply selecting internet images and creating collages, the AI system works to produce entirely new works through “diffusion,” through which an image is refined down to the pixel to match text input.

"Moment" by King//Colker

King//Colker had previously shot videos using an iPhone camera. But when Colker decided to merge his background in AI with his music endeavor, creating a music video for the song “Moment” using DALL-E 2, it quickly drew 150,000 views when it was posted.

Not only did DALL-E 2 help King//Colker produce a video quickly, but it also helped save up to tens of thousands of dollars that producing a film could potentially require.

“With the limited tools that we have and a production budget of zero, because this is a side project, we’ve tried to find creative ways to make music videos,” Colker told Geekwire. “[DALL-E 2] unlocks a whole new world of creativity that is trapped in people’s minds, who deserve to have their art seen but they don’t have the production budgets that other folks do.”

With DALL-E 2, the AI-music video joins a slew of other AI-art ventures—from AI “rappers,” like FN Meka, introduced in 2021 to AI “portraits” made by German artist Mario Kinglemann to Scotland using it to generate images of its 13 UNESCO sites. The new technology, it should be clear, is not “creating” art, per se—it’s important to remember that all of the rules are generated from human input. And the technology, while impressive, can also become a tool for bad actors keen on producing deep fakes. Still, it’s introducing a whole new way for artists—broadly defined—to create completely new works, quickly, on a budget.