Pin It
Photography Liv Boeree, via Instagram (@grimes)

Grimes says she worries AI will one day ‘make musicians obsolete’

‘We can teach it and point it in the right direction, but where it goes from there is anyone’s guess’

Grimes has spoken about the pros and cons of technology and her predictions for the future of artificial intelligence, revealing that she worries it will one day “make musicians obsolete”.

The musician made the comments during the Web Summit 2020, a virtual edition of the annual tech conference. Grimes was joined by Blade Runner director Ridley Scott, Gwyneth Paltrow – who discussed her lifestyle brand Goop – Serena Williams, and more.

Speaking about the role of technology in her life, Grimes said: “I feel like iPhone should turn off an hour before bed. It’s been giving me sleep problems. It’s technology we haven’t factored into our biology.”

Though, she added: “We shouldn’t forget technology makes our lives better. We need more utopianism in sci-fi.”

Discussing tech in relation to her music, Grimes said: “Everyday I thank the overlords of Ableton for cleaning up my tracks, but I do worry that AI will outpace us and make musicians obsolete. It’s inevitable.”

“We have the beautiful advantage of knowing super intelligence is coming. We ought to make those rules now and not wait until it’s too late. We’re giving birth to AI. We can teach it and point it in the right direction, but where it goes from there as it becomes more powerful as this ghost in our data, and ultimately its own being, is anyone’s guess.”

She continued: “Maybe it will become like Dune, where thinking machines get banned on Earth and we send AI out into the universe to spread the light of consciousness so information is wherever you go, and then Earth becomes this boutiquey thing, like organic vegetables, where when human music is heard people will be like, ‘Oh, this was made by a woman, not a robot’.”

Does Grimes see this as a positive or a negative? “Every tool has the potential to be dangerous,” she concluded. “Where we are headed depends upon what we do with the technology. We’re on the knife’s edge right now but we have solved insane problems like our faces being beamed through space and time so we can be together in the same place right now despite physically being all over the world. That’s some crazy wizardry happening right here. There is a solution, we just shouldn’t make failure an option.”

In October, Grimes teamed up with soundscape app Endel to create an AI-driven lullaby to help you relax. Created following a search for a “better baby sleeping situation” for her and Elon Musk’s seventh month old baby, X Æ A-XII, Grimes’ soundscape evolves to match weather conditions, the user’s heart rate, the time of day, and more.

Read more highlights from the Web Summit 2020 via Forbes here.