AI Is Not a Threat to Musicians

By April 1, 2023Blog
, AI Is Not a Threat to Musicians

Since ChatGPT appeared out of nowhere at the end of 2022, many people started wondering about the future of their jobs due to the incredible capabilities of this tool.

Now that it has an API and its ecosystem is opening and expanding day by day, the worries grow.

Add to that the increasing availability of AI-assisted or completely driven music tools that are coming to the market month after month, and it’s clear that a big shift is happening.

Hi, my name is Ramiro Somosierra, I’m the editor of GearAficionado, an online music magazine, and I’m also an economics researcher with an interest in how automation affects the workforce.

Let me share with you what I know about this matter, and why I think AI will ultimately not be a threat to those of us that have jobs somehow related to music.

Let’s get started!

This Has Happened Before in Other Industries

Studying the past can provide valuable insights into what the future holds for the music industry. 

One interesting example from history is the transition from horses to automobiles in the early 1900s. 

Many businesses relied on horses for transportation, and the shift to cars caused widespread panic among workers in horse-related industries. 

However, the increased productivity of automobiles created more business opportunities than were lost by leaving horses behind. 

While some struggled to adapt, most laid-off workers eventually found new jobs, and the efficiency of cars led to the creation of many new industries.

Another example is the adoption of ATMs in the 1990s. 

Prior to this, most bank employees were tellers, and transactions were done through personal interaction. 

The widespread use of ATMs initially led to job losses among tellers, but the machines made bank branches cheaper to operate, leading to the opening of more locations and the growth of bank jobs overall.

You Can Only Automate Tasks

When considering automation and its impact on employment, it is important to note that only tasks can be automated, not entire job positions. 

While computers and robots excel at performing specific tasks, the transition to automation can free up human workers to focus on more complex and higher-level responsibilities. 

In some cases, new opportunities may even emerge as a result of automation.

This Has Happened Before in Music

Let’s explore two essential milestones in the history of the music industry.

Firstly, the emergence of digital workstations brought about the widespread use of home studios. 

Prior to this, recording music was a costly and exclusive process that required professional assistance. 

The production of records could take several weeks, and the entire process was far more complex than it is today. 

However, the availability of home studios made music-making tools accessible to more people, inevitably leading to industry growth.

Secondly, the increasing popularity of pitch-correction software, including Autotune and Melodyne, played a significant role. 

While digital audio workstations (DAWs) made recording music more accessible, pitch-correction software democratized singing.

Music Will Be Democratized

Like home studios and vocal enhancers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools will also have a similar impact on the music industry.

With these tools, more people can enter the music scene and perform different roles such as composing, performing, writing lyrics, promoting, marketing, and more.

Musicians who embrace these technological advancements will be able to take their craft to the next level and achieve better outcomes.

Rather than being resentful towards robots, it’s essential to learn how to coexist with them.

The future is taking us in a particular direction, and the best approach is to enjoy the journey.

How to Stay Relevant

As a musician, there are several ways to embrace AI technology to stay relevant in the job market of the future. 

One way is to use AI-powered tools to enhance music production, such as AI-generated beats and melodies, or use machine learning-assisted tools to analyze and improve the mix and master of a track.

Musicians can also leverage AI-powered platforms and tools for music distribution, promotion, and discovery, which can help them reach new audiences and get their music heard. 

Additionally, you could also incorporate AI technology into live performances, such as using AI-generated visuals or integrating AI-powered instruments.

It’s important for musicians to stay open-minded and willing to adapt to the changes that AI technology will bring to the music industry.