Music Tech caught up with Kaskade and deadmau5 recently ahead of their show at Printworks London. As the pair fought off jetlag and ribbed each other, the conversation eventually turned to the proliferation of AI and how it could affect the future of music.
deadmau5 might be one of the better artists in dance music to give perspective on the evolution, sharp-tongued and never too shy to share his opinion. He’s also famously tech savvy, which becomes clear when you look back a few years at the tour of his home studio with Linus Tech Tips. And even that was six years ago, so we’re sure he’s made some upgrades since then.
When it comes to AI, a large worry is that the technology will take jobs and expertise away from individuals who have devoted years of their life as a technology that learns from tens of thousands of people instantly per day becomes more and more adept at a variety of tasks. Others believe that the current narrow AI will never be able to fully replicate a human’s creativity, but an AI now is only as powerful as the prompt it’s given.
As for deadmau5, he seems to feel pretty confident that even if AI were to start making full pop songs, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
“It’s pretty scary,” deadmau5 told Music Tech. “But it’s scary in the sense of how stupid music already is anyway, so it’s not that frightening. Like, ‘This thing can make a pop song!’ Have you heard a pop song? Great. Let it go. Unleash the beast, you know – holy shit would that ever open up the niche market for actual musicianship.”
“[ChatGPT] is good. But it’s only as good as what it knows. It’s a huge training model, right? So take the collective stupidity of the world and make a robot fucking barf it out. It’s not gonna be that genius, but it’s gonna get you what you want.”
We’re already seeing AI programs able to emulate vocals, and already we’re seeing some studios create entire visual sequences with the technology. But limitations and expertise will continue to differentiate human capabilities versus machine applications. At least, for now.
Photo by Graham John Bell for Insomniac Events