Despite technology, art does not have a linear history of improvements. For sure we have better technology today than 500 years ago, but do we have better literature too? But what happens when these two collide? Will robots replace musicians in the future?
If you don’t know, know you should know that already today, there are lots of music jobs being done by computers. When you listen to a hit pop song, almost all of what you hear, except the vocals and maybe a solo instrument, are computer samples. For a musical instrument player living in the early twentieth century, this would mean losing their jobs. But did they?
What will robots do in the music industry?
We should never forget that technology is always there to help us do better at our jobs, not to replace us. Sure there are some jobs that can be replaced completely by AI and robots, but it does not mean that the whole process is going to be done by robots.
Imagine giving Mozart, a tablet with a notation software on it. He would probably go crazy. Most of what he had to think about and imagine in his mind, is being done today by these kinds of software. But it does not mean that we don’t have composers today, but today composers have more time to think about the creative part than to think about how it would sound with the orchestra.
Will robots have an Audience?
We should also consider another matter. Even if AI could replace musicians in the future, would the audience want it to? After all music without an audience would not work. In the 70s and 80s, everybody believed that electronic instruments are replacing the acoustic instruments. But time showed that the audience prefers the sound and the act of playing an acoustic instrument. After half a century we are in a place that people still buy tickets to a solo piano or guitar performance.
When an AI composer appears, for sure it will be interesting and attractive for everybody to know about it. And for a time they may even completely replace human composers. But after that period when it is not a new thing, we will go back to humans again.
The same goes for super starts too. We will have robot pop starts. But will we just be fans of robots? For a time humans will be out of fashion, but not long after that robots will be out of fashion too. Then we will have both human and robot superstars.
Will AI replace all kinds of musicians?
When we talk about musicians in general, we talk about a variety of jobs. Sound engineer, instrumentalist, producer, songwriter, composer. And in every genre, each of them has a different task. Now, imagine that the composer of today’s hit song is a robot. Is it? I’m sure you don’t know who composed most of today’s hits. So this is a job that can be replaced with AI.
but what about the composer of a new movie? Most of us know them, they are important as a person for us. There will be robot film music composers for sure, but they will work along with humans if not for them.
How long will it take for robots to replace humans?
Well, no one knows for sure. But remember, we still don’t have complete robotic drivers. We don’t even have robot deliveries that are being controlled just by AI without human supervision. Now imagine an AI composer that thinks, decides and creates a music piece without any human
Interference. This will take a long long long long time to happen.