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Algorithm Is A Dancer: How artificial intelligence is reshaping electronic music

Picture this... It’s 2030, and the DJ Mag Top 100 has just been topped, for the first time ever, by an artist created with artificial intelligence. The furore is palpable. The DJ community and scene at large are up in arms.

“They took our jobs!” goes the cry of the headphone-wielding rabble, as circuit boards, computers, their fancy algorithms and all related Kraftwerk memorabilia are inflamed in massive pyres around the world. “Dance music will never be the same again!” the fictitious crowd of enraged future DJs also claim. But they’re wrong. From another perspective, AI could make our culture even more engaging, dynamic and collaborative.

Bottom line: If you make music or DJ, or produce anything creative such as make films, take photos, write or paint, then the chances of robots taking your job are pretty slim, for now. And while a 2017 study suggesting automation may cause the loss of over 800 million worldwide jobs by 2030 indicates another epic and potentially turbulent paradigm shift in workforce dynamics, job types, economics and lifestyles the world over, this particular aspect of what often feels like a scary future shouldn’t be the primary cause for concern for anyone active in the arts.

In fact, if the creativity genuinely does come from unique aspects of the human experience, such as art, experimentalism and genuine personal expression, AI has potential to create a whole new creative realm of opportunities and modes of artistic articulation. But only if we embrace AI tools with the same adventurous spirit the original dance pioneers embraced digital tools, experimenting with them and pushing them to their limits to take the music into the future — a destination that has always been the core aesthetic, source of inspiration and reference for electronic music in the first place. DJ Stingray touched on this imminent change in tech climate when I interviewed him for

06.03.2019 djmag.com

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