Rage With The Machines

Okay, this has gotten out of hand.

We rely on computers to communicate and fly our planes. But when it comes to creating music, keep the robots away. Surely, that’s one thing that we humans can still do better.

Actually, the music industry already uses artificial intelligence. They employ algorithms about listening behavior to help them better understand how we discover new music. That A.I. is used to curate streaming playlists…and identify future stars.

But can computers create worthwhile, original music?

Recently, the A.I. Song Competition received computer-generated song entries from around the world. Contestants analyzed mountains of song data, dissected melodies, chords and beat patterns. Then they set out to create digital greatness.

But music and A.I. didn’t meld. In fact, none of the entries were memorable. However, event organizers got a glimpse at how computers mimic the human brain. They concluded that computers are best for churning out ideas. But that’s about it.

Call me when robots can sing like Adele.

Here’s my take. I get why musicians are raging with machines. Digital tools open up some amazing possibilities. But data must be used judiciously. Otherwise artists are just driving through the rearview mirror. They might as well be a cover band.

I’m sure that A.I. will fabricate the next Justin Bieber. But can computers capture the daring of Pink Floyd? The angst of Eddie Vedder? The passion of Van Morrison? The coolness of John Legend?

There’s no substitute for inspired writing, talented musicians and a healthy dose of experimentation. So, I wouldn’t bet on computers to create the future of music.

That said, watch for Simon Cowell to announce Robots Got Talent, with host Art Intel.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347   

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *