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Artificial Intelligence and All About Jazz? DIG 9000 jams with ChatGPT article @ All About Jazz

Jazz and the Net

Courtesy New York Jazz Workshop


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Number is the ruler of forms and ideas, and the cause of gods and demons.

As the internet’s oldest jazz resource, All About Jazz (AAJ) has always been on the cutting edge of using new technologies in the promotion of jazz and jazz musicians. This commitment continues to this day, with the new technology that has emerged in recent months, namely, the so-called “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) known as “ChatGPT” that has created such a stir in the media and in education in particular.

AAJ has experimented with AI for content creation and the results are interesting and revealing. Can AI replace a human author? Is it really an “artificial intelligence”?

To delve into these questions, ChatGPT was given several prompts, but for this article, we include two prompts and two ChatGPTs responses:

Prompt: Write an article on
Miles Davis

1926 – 1991

” data-original-title=”” title=””>Miles Davis‘ influence on jazz piano, jazz composition, and jazz leadership.

Miles Davis is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of jazz music. Over the course of his career, he had a significant impact on jazz piano, jazz composition, and jazz leadership. Here is a closer look at Davis’ influence in these three areas.

I. Jazz Piano

Davis was a trumpet player, but his influence on jazz piano cannot be overstated. He worked with some of the best pianists in the business, including Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea. Davis encouraged these musicians to explore new approaches to harmony and improvisation, and his collaborations with them produced some of the most innovative and groundbreaking music of the era.

One of Davis’ most important contributions to jazz piano was his emphasis on modal jazz. This style involves playing within a particular mode or scale, rather than relying on traditional chord progressions. This approach allowed for greater freedom in improvisation, and it helped to give jazz musicians a new way of approaching the piano.

Davis also helped to popularize the use of the piano as a lead instrument in jazz. Traditionally, the piano had been seen as a supporting instrument, providing rhythm and harmony for other instruments to play over. However, Davis saw the piano as a versatile and expressive instrument that could take on a lead role in jazz. His collaborations with pianists like Evans and Hancock showcased the piano’s potential for melodic expression, and helped to solidify its role as a central instrument in the jazz ensemble.

II. Jazz Composition

Davis was a prolific composer, and his music had a profound impact on the development of jazz composition. He was always searching for new sounds and new ways of approaching music, and his compositions reflected this exploratory spirit. Davis’ music was known for its sophisticated harmonies, innovative use of space and silence, and its ability to evoke complex moods and emotions.

One of Davis’ most famous compositions is “So What,” which is built around a single chord and features a distinctive bass line. This minimalist approach to composition was groundbreaking at the time, and it influenced countless jazz musicians who came after Davis.

Davis was also known for his collaborations with other musicians, and he often encouraged his bandmates to contribute their own compositions to his albums. This collaborative approach to composition helped to create a more democratic and inclusive approach to jazz music, and it helped to foster a sense of community within the jazz world.

III. Jazz Leadership

Davis was not only a great musician, but he was also a great leader. He had a clear vision for his music, and he was not afraid to take risks and try new things. Davis was known for his ability to bring out the best in his fellow musicians, and he was always looking for ways to challenge and inspire them.

One of the ways that Davis showed his leadership was by encouraging his bandmates to improvise freely. He believed that improvisation was the essence of jazz music, and he encouraged his musicians to explore new ideas and take risks in their playing.

Davis was also a master at assembling talented musicians and creating cohesive ensembles. He was known for his ability to bring together musicians from different backgrounds and styles, and he was always looking for ways to push them to new heights.

In conclusion, Miles Davis had a significant impact on jazz piano, jazz composition, and jazz leadership. His influence can be seen in the music of countless jazz musicians who came after him, and his innovative and exploratory spirit continues to inspire new generations of jazz musicians today.

Prompt: Why are there so many theatrical elements like costumes in Sun Ra’s music?

” data-original-title=”” title=””>Sun Ra was a musician, composer, and bandleader who was known for his innovative approach to jazz and his unique personal style, which often included elaborate costumes and otherworldly stage props. Sun Ra believed that he was from Saturn and was sent to Earth to spread a message of peace, harmony, and creativity.

One of the reasons why Sun Ra wore costumes was to create a visual representation of his belief in the power of imagination and the infinite possibilities of the universe. He believed that by wearing these costumes and creating a fantastical stage presence, he could help transport his audience to a different dimension and inspire them to embrace their own creativity. Additionally, Sun Ra’s costumes were a reflection of his interest in ancient Egyptian and African cultures. He often incorporated Egyptian symbols and designs into his outfits, and believed that African history and spirituality held important keys to understanding the nature of the universe.

Overall, Sun Ra’s costumes were an expression of his artistic and philosophical vision, and helped to create a truly unique and otherworldly experience for his audiences.

From a writing perspective, these responses are both impressive. The writing is consistent and strong—it is grammatically correct and flows logically from sentence to sentence, and from paragraph to paragraph. For a computer to do this within a matter of seconds is an astonishing technological feat that will have serious ramifications as this software improves in the coming years. There are an enormous number of jobs that feature writing as a primary skillset—law, education, marketing, advertising, news media, internet content, code writing, creative writing, etc. The highest levels of these professions would, given AI’s current state, still require human authors, but how much of that writing is more generic or generalized, and could easily be done by AI? The implications for automating what has been a completely human occupation until now are simultaneously frightening and exhilarating.

From a content perspective, the responses contain pertinent information that is accurate and interesting, but they are also very revealing in terms of AI’s limitations. The software surveyed extant sources, decided which information is relevant, and then composed a narrative response. In short, they read like well—written undergraduate General Education papers from a jazz history class. They demonstrate that the “student,” if you will, has surveyed appropriate sources, and has assembled that information in a well-organized and well-written manner. (However, both are very short—607 words and 183 words respectively—so we have to assume that the word count requirements for this assignment are well below 1,200-1,500 words, which is generally what is required in college for these kinds of assignments.)

What is conspicuously lacking is anything resembling original thoughts, ideas, connections, or perspectives. Thus, what we really have here is something resembling a “snapshot” of the human scholarship that has been presented as a computer-authored summary. What is also lacking, and demarcates the AI from a student paper, is that there are no sources provided. We assume that the information is accurate, but we are not provided with the source of that information. This appears to be a calculated part of the media spin campaign on AI. If sources were listed, they could be checked for plagiarism and the AI’s sausage making would be revealed. Without those sources, it implies that the AI just knows the information and has composed the response from its own knowledge bas, which it hasn’t. The lack of full disclosure regarding sources is misleading; it implies that the computer is the creator of the information used to compose the response, which in turn gives it a tacit whiff of being “intelligent” or perhaps even quasi-sentient.

To use the student analogy, it’s as if a professor asked an undergraduate student to compare the leadership styles of Miles Davis,

Duke Ellington

1899 – 1974

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