Hamilton song written by AI oddly refers to Hillary Clinton
Die-hard fans of the Hamilton musical can’t get enough of the catchy soundtrack (I speak from experience). So they might be happy to hear that there is a new Hamilton earworm in the world. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the musical, however, has nothing to do with it. The lyrics were entirely written by AI.
To find the song’s lyrics, Eli Weiss, a film production student at Chapman University in California, used To read in no time, an AI application designed for writing that integrates GPT-3, the powerful third-generation machine learning language model used by OpenAI, a non-profit organization artificial intelligence research group supported by Elon musk.
GPT-3 came with 45TB of text data, possibly including Hamilton’s full lyrics, and can generate a range of written content with simple inputs.
Weiss and his team entered this line: “Here are the lyrics to a new song from the hit musical Hamilton: An American Musical.” The program then created lyrics over a melody with four verses, a chorus and a bridge that correctly identifies the characters in the story and their relationships with each other.
“It messes up a few times, like when Hillary Clinton makes a cameo,” says Weiss, a big Hamilton fan, “but overall it’s incredibly convincing.”
Indeed, most of the lyrics, both in wording and cadence, seem to fit in perfectly with the musical, which tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton, largely through hip-hop. “I wrote to get out of hell, I wrote 6 feet after the grave. I wrote a song about you, the only thing that protected me,” say the lyrics of the AI.
GPT-3 produces word sequences that are often surprisingly human, but can also contain funny surprises.
In the case of Hamilton’s new song, Hamilton’s devoted wife gives him a most unwelcome gift: “I met a certain young lady called Eliza and I’m 90% sure she gave me. syphilis. But I hope I got it back to you. ”
Then there is the reference to Hillary Clinton as “my new Eliza”. The machine learning tool likely linked the former secretary of state to Hamilton’s words referring to this government post. How Clinton becomes Hamilton’s new sweetheart is everyone’s intelligence.
Weiss’ friend, film music student Michael Gribble, set the AI-written song and performer to music in the video above. This isn’t the first time AI has written a new song for Hamilton, however. A few years ago, the creative Max Deutsch formed a neural network on the lyrics of the musical and asked him to come up with a new melody.
AI is becoming an increasingly visible player in the creative space, doing everything from generate Katy Perry and Elvis songs at paint nude portraits and make poetry in the style of classics. Sometimes the results are genuinely related to the human experience. Other times, they’re downright scary.
Weiss and his creative partner Jacob Vaus are among those who are fascinated by the creative potential of AI and have harnessed it to write scripts and compose other songs.
“Right now, most of this work still has that comedic charm, but I think somewhere in the middle of that spectrum is what we’ll start to see a lot in the years to come,” Weiss said. “AI is used here and there in the creative process to fill in gaps and make adjustments.”
History has its eyes on you, IA.