Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic over the past few years. AI has provided us with significant support across all aspects of life and has helped make huge strides in efficiencies and productivity for many companies.
However, whilst for many the benefits are easy to see there is also a sense of fear that machines may threaten the human workforce. Research by PWC found that by 2030 up to 30 percent of jobs could be impacted by AI. However, AI could also improve productivity by 14 percent in the same time period. For many this has led to feelings of unrest about the future for workers and how much of it will be replaced by machines.
Yet AI can’t fully replace the workforce, there are elements that a machine just can’t replace such as the human ways of working, emotions and empathy. In many jobs, especially in the creative world, these elements are vital and make it difficult to see a future where AI completely takes over.
Still there is no doubt that AI will play a hugely important role in the future of the workforce, but rather than fear it we should embrace it. In fact, AI will play a supporting role for many, and it will also create a whole host of exciting roles, creating the same amount (*) that it replaces. AI is already helping improve efficiencies for the more tedious, time-consuming parts of our jobs such as data analytics and this is set to increase as the capabilities of AI continue to expand. This will enable humans to focus on the elements that they enjoy and lessen any negative feelings towards the mundane parts of the job.
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How do we define AI?
AI has become a generic term that covers a whole range of technologies including machine learning, deep learning, computer vision and natural language processing (NLP). The tech behind these applications both in isolation or combined with each other is what makes them intelligent in the first place.
Microsoft describes the concept of artificial intelligence as follows: "By artificial intelligence (AI), we mean technologies that complement and strengthen human abilities in seeing, hearing, analyzing, deciding, and acting." Here we find the essence of AI, the principle of supplementing and strengthening human skills, not a blanket replacement - especially in the tech and music industries, where it has been utilized to support human working.
For some the assumption is that robots and algorithms will take over more and more tasks that could previously only be done by humans. So one could assume that ‘human’ jobs of today may disappear in time. According to the World Economic Forum, some 75 million jobs will be eliminated by 2022 in the wake of the ever-increasing use of AI. At the same time, 133 million new jobs are forecast to be created - an increase of 58 million roles.
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Where does AI fit in with music?
In today’s content-heavy world there is a huge requirement for music to accompany videos, posts and live streams. But here remains a major barrier - most music is protected by copyright with expensive fees to use. Flout the regulations and content and accounts can be deleted.
With the metaverse increasing in popularity, the number of royalty-free tracks needed is set to soar. Platforms such as Loudly enable users to generate tracks in minutes, without high costs and to suit their content using AI.
The development of AI music is already underway, however there will be a number of challenges that we will face during this transformation. And at Loudly we don’t believe that AI will replace traditional music. ‘Human’ music is impossible to replicate using a machine, it’s often about personal experiences, emotions, memories and all the things that a machine just won’t be able to do.
What roles is AI creating?
In time all industries will benefit from AI technology. The music industry is no exception and to date some of the ways people work with it include:
- AI music composers apply expert musical knowledge to the AI system, including genre-specific song structures.
- Music engine developers write the code base for the core music engine to create the actual music to be generated by the AI.
- Music producers for loop-based audio tracks compose several original studio-quality music tracks per month to be added to the AI music system.
But AI can’t work in isolation. In order for the above applications to be profitable the AI needs to be fed qualitative data and be trained regularly - meaning that humans will remain indispensable. So for us out Loudly we strive for a coexistence between humans and technology - no either or.
AI and humans - the dream team
Just as the world of work 4.0 is characterized by networked digitization and flexibility, the world of work 5.0 will be defined by ever-closer collaboration between humans and machines. AI will become the intelligent assistant to humans. AI applications have the potential to relieve people of time-consuming routine tasks by freeing up more time for demanding tasks. For example, AI music platforms such as Loudly can compose suitable songs, soundtracks, etc. for artists, creators, marketeers and companies in minutes compared to the hours it can take to source a royalty-free track.
AI is not going to fully replace human activities. Through the progressive automation of processes and the increased use of AI, other skills will gain in importance, such as communication and negotiation skills, social competence, empathy and leadership. These soft skills cannot be replaced by AI; human skill will always be required here.
So the future is a collaborative world between machines and humans. There will be a shift in the roles that are required and we will all have to learn how to work alongside machines in our lives. But the future is exciting. AI will bring improvements in productivity as well as eradicate the need to do some of the more mundane tasks we do today.
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Rory Kenny, CEO, Loudly