Washed Out Responds To Backlash Over AI Music Video

Washed Out Responds To Backlash Over AI Music Video

Last week, Washed Out shared a music video that was created with the text-to-video AI tool Sora. It was touted as OpenAI’s first officially commissioned Sora collaboration with a musician and a filmmaker, the video’s director Paul Trillo. Washed Out leader Ernest Greene quickly faced backlash over the AI video, including some criticism from Youth Lagoon’s Trevor Powers.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Greene responded to the criticism. “To me, this is just a brand-new tool to explore,” he said. “There’s definitely a large selection of people who just flat-out don’t like anything AI-art-related. ”

“I haven’t seen one comparison of the look of the video to any other work, whether that’s in film or animation or whatever,” Greene continued. “I think Paul’s been able to do something here that feels super unique. And yeah, I think that’s an amazing skill.”

“Could there be more transparency in how these models are created? Absolutely,” video director Trillo told Rolling Stone. “Was there going to be someone else that makes the first Sora music video, if we didn’t? That would have happened. I see every technology as an opportunity to do something that is unique to the piece of tech and to open up new kinds of visual modes.”

A different interview with The Los Angeles Times that was done last week noted that Trillo and Greene did not pay OpenAI for the use of Sora, and it doesn’t seem like they got paid by OpenAI to promote the technology either.

“The deal with music videos is they’ve always been these things where I’m not employing tons of people anyways,” Trillo said to Rolling Stone. “I’m not giving people their full day rates anyways. They’ve always been these things you do out of passion… But the other reality is like, this stuff isn’t going away.”

In a tweet thread from earlier this week, Greene also addressed the criticism: “I want to make note of the intense debate going on here in the comments. It’s clear that the video has served as a jumping off point to discuss a range of topics as far-reaching as aesthetics, authenticity, ownership, and many fears about how AI will effect our lives,” he wrote. He continued:

My new album isn’t an AI-album and there aren’t any AI-focused themes, but as a big fan of science and technology, I’m very excited about the creative potential of these new tools.

As I’ve said before, it feels like a natural extension of of some of the other experimental music videos I’ve done in the past.

I also want to acknowledge the serious concerns that people have shared with me through comments and DM’s.

I feel more educated about both sides of the debate after reading them, and I realize there is an important distinction that needs to be made between responsible and irresponsible use of the tools.

It’s clear that we are in the earliest stages of figuring that distinction out, and if anything, I hope that the video can play a role in amplifying that discussion.

Whether you’re scared, excited, or undecided about these new tools, they are here to stay. We just need to collectively figure out the most responsible ways to harness them.

more from News