Friday, September 6, 2019

Robot Pop and the End of Era of Pop Superstars

Photo by Alex Knight from Pexels

Recently, I've been reading Yuval Noah Harari's book, 21 Lessons for the Twenty-First Century.  

As pertains to this blog, music and the like, he points to the use of AI and algorithms to track and produce just the right kind of pop music-and perhaps any genre of music-that appeals to you and only you. It goes on to further the paradigm by noting that these computer programs will also create the entire dynamic of pop superstardom without any actual human superstars!

Lest you think that's bunk, spend a day listening to what pop music is today and note how much of it is the same derivative pap. Save the occasional producer who adds a "new" sound, the devolution of popular music is continuing at a steady pace. As such, how bad can AI produced pop music be compared to what's playing now?

In fact, because it can fine tune to your particular likes and dislikes, you personally will find what it plays for you to your liking. If this sound manipulative; it is, but no differently than what's being fed to you now.

For music producers, this will be a Godsend. For those who front the music, the performers, it may be the end of a long run for such entertainers. Sure, there will be some who make their mark, but if AI becomes so sophisticated that superstar avatars go along with the AI algorithm music, why would producers deal with petulant humans? Then there's the cost reduction: avatars aren't going to cost that much after they are produced and they won't age and won't have to be compensated throughout their holographic existence.

For the rest of us, who knows.

Mere humans will always sing and make music. Whether it has any monetary value... again, who knows? Recorded music is slowly being devalued; anyone gluming over their streaming payouts can attest to that.

But that capitalism; always has been, always will be. For the rest of us, the joy will still come from getting together and playing for one another.

See you there.

©2019 David William Pearce

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