5 Reasons Why AI Will Not Replace Musicians
With the recent popularity of AI-produced art by systems like DALL-E or Stable Diffusion a lot of musicians might wonder if we are next.
The thing is, AI-created music is already here and platforms like Soundful are already facilitating the creation of beats for a lot of producers.
But, luckily, I’m here to tell musicians that you shouldn’t lose sleep about it.
At least for the near future.
We will now lay out briefly 5 reasons why I think your employment is not at risk, but if you want a deeper dive into the topic, I suggest you check out my original article about why AI is not a threat to musician jobs.
Are you ready to get started?
Table of Contents
AI hasn’t yet destroyed other industries
The automation panic has been haunting us for decades.
Anytime there’s an advancement in what computers can do better than humans a lot of people freak out.
But a clear example of this is what happened with ATM machines.
Back in the 80s, most bank employers were tellers.
When ATMs started being implemented, the fear of mass unemployment was reasonable.
However, in hindsight, we now know that the net effect of these machines was the creation of new and better-paid jobs.
You see, once boring and repetitive tasks were taken away from employees, the bank could repurpose them into more productive tasks where their human input really made a difference in expanding their overall business.
You can automate tasks but not jobs
An important point to make is that technology only automates tasks, and jobs are but a set of different tasks.
If an AI delves into your field, it will probably only be better than you at certain tasks, but not all.
For instance, software services like Soundful that create tunes on demand are great at just putting together random music by the dozen with just a click.
However, there’s still the need for someone to make sense of those tracks, mix them, master them, even re-record them, and even reimagine them to make them better.
AI is still not great at creativity
You can input a certain set of rules into a computer (or rather have it learn them by showing it examples), but there’s still a certain human touch that can’t be emulated.
What makes a great song great?
Probably a lot of things, but being relatable and human is an important factor.
Machines still can’t do this.
I’m not saying that in the future they couldn’t, but one problem at one. If computers learned to imitate our creativity I think the lesser of our problems would be the music they make.
I’d rather be worrying about world domination.
Music will be democratized
A lot of people might not be on board with me in this one, but just hear me out.
Music, for a lot of people, is just black magic.
Somehow we musicians get to grab an instrument and make it sound interesting, while when other untrained humans try to do the same the only thing they get is unpleasant noise.
Many enthusiasts would love to be able to create their own songs with just a few clicks, and I think that’s ultimately a good thing for everyone.
Although competition encourages progress, I think that more music out there will open more jobs for performers, curators, industry-specific marketers, web designers, and whatever else related you can think of.
It’s likely that more jobs will be created
As I mentioned earlier, the net effect of innovation that drives productivity in business has always been job creation.
And, ok, perhaps the jobs that would be created are not exactly the ones you are expecting or those you desire the most, but if you are willing to make certain compromises your chances of working in the music industry will likely go up with time.
Nowadays media is consumed faster than ever and in a throwaway fashion. Short-form video is king, but the video needs audio to be compelling.
Think about being an AI-assisted composer that could fulfill the needs of original music for hundreds of creators weekly.
Yes, they could go about it directly through the specific software, but the input and review of a real musician after the pieces are created is something that, as we said, computers can’t yet compete with.
Check out the AI-related article from metalshout.com