Will A.I. replace musicians?
How do we stop that from happening?
You've heard it many times before: Artificial Intelligence is about to overtake us in all we do. They will steal our jobs, eliminate our need for interactions with other human beings and take over the world. Somewhere in the middle, it would overtake humans in our ability to make popular music (that people actually want to listen to and not just algorithmic djent-heads) and make composers, arrangers and all manners of music production redundant. Does this mean that music is doomed?
Fortunately the answer is a resounding...not necessarily! We as a collective species still have the ability to decide what is trendy and what is not. Here are some of my best tips to beat back the digitized horde!
New Viral Video Challenges
Even if A.I. has the ability to write what it believes will be the next number 1 Billboard hit, a new viral TikTok dance trend might buck the trend and send pop music moving in a new direction. Much as it may try, bytes cannot dance the same way ByteDance's app users can for human eyes around the world. So if you see your teenage kids spending way too much time on their phones doing silly stuff, keep in mind that they are helping to keep music within the domain of humans.
Music that is More than just a Compressed Format
A.I. may be extremely reliable at producing compressed music format in the future, but unless huge strides are made in the way we store songs, these songs themselves cannot manifest themselves into something greater. By exploring the possibilities of playing music and enjoying recorded music, and redefining what a song is, we might just find an answer that would future-proof music.
Make Songs with Meaning
A brain-in-a-box might be able to analyse millions of songs and produce what it believes is a song. That song may have lyrics that could possibly make sense. But it cannot create a song with meaning, like music made in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. It alone cannot inspire millions to take to the streets and demand that autocracies and dictatorships fall to the voice of the people, like Beethoven's Ode to Joy did. It certainly cannot make an anthem that will compel you to worship the Great Neural Engine in the sky while you labour in shackles. By making less music about various body parts and more music that speaks for different groups of people, we can keep an edge on A.I. and fight inequality at the same time.
Think about it; you would not want to see robots in the Olympics competing alongside the best athletes humankind has to offer. For a related reason, you would find a performance by a flesh and bone artist to be more appealing than one by a machine. By supporting live music, exploring different types of performance styles that can incorporate music and thinking of new ways to play instruments, concerts that reek of body odour will continue to be a thing of the future.