May 2024
5 Mins
Nick Clarkson Technology Director

Missing Soul, The Audio Uncanny Valley of Suno AI

In the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, Suno AI stands out as a remarkable tool, especially for music producers. Its ability to generate music, particularly when prompted with a scene or genere is nothing short of impressive. However, as with many groundbreaking technologies, Suno AI presents a paradox: while it is undeniably powerful, it falls short of creating truly captivating music. This phenomenon might be best described as the audio equivalent of the uncanny valley.

From my experiments with Suno AI, I've been continually amazed by the quality and complexity of the music it generates. The AI can create intricate melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that, on the surface, appear indistinguishable from human compositions. Yet, despite its technical brilliance, the music lacks a crucial element: soul.

The music Suno AI produces often feels like library music—tracks composed to fit a brief or serve a particular purpose, but devoid of the intangible qualities that make music truly memorable. The prompt is the brief, therefore it is doing what it is asked. It’s the difference between a well-executed painting and a masterpiece that moves you. Suno AI’s compositions, while technically sound, lack the emotional depth and connection that resonate with listeners. They feel more like products of a highly skilled craftsman than works of an inspired artist.

One could argue that Suno AI mirrors the human creative process, analysing past works and building upon them. Yet, it seems to miss a crucial aspect: affection for the music it creates. This might be where the uncanny valley manifests in audio form—music that sounds perfect but feels off. The AI’s lack of personal experience, emotional engagement, and passion results in music that, while impressive, fails to captivate.

Suno AI represents another significant leap for AI in the creative field. It showcases the incredible potential of machine learning in music production, offering new tools and possibilities for artists. However, it’s still knocking the bar off rather than clearing it. The AI’s output, while useful and innovative, doesn't yet reach the level of artistry that defines great music.

What could bridge this gap? Perhaps the key lies in teaching Suno AI to "care" about the music it creates. While this might seem like science fiction, integrating more sophisticated models of emotional understanding and preference could help. Imagine an AI that not only learns from existing music but also develops a taste, creating compositions that reflect its unique "preferences."

Suno AI is an extraordinary tool with immense potential, especially for producers looking to innovate within specific genres. However, its music lacks the indefinable magic that makes us fall in love with a song. As AI technology continues to advance, we might one day experience music created by AI that not only sounds good but also feels right. Until then, Suno AI remains an impressive but incomplete step forward in the world of music production.