Rendering Ourselves Obsolete
Words really escaped me when I first read this article on The Verge about how musical pieces composed by artificial intelligence software were being performed by real live human players in a jazz club in London. It wasn't the fact that software composed music. Music is, after all, mathematics by another name. It is not by itself a shocking idea in the abstract that AI can compose music that emulates the conventions of music theory that human students took years to learn.
What is disturbing to me, however, is how the article, and the persons interviewed therein, exude such a sense of accomplishment. Every day we are rendering ourselves obsolete and not one person seems to be outraged enough to stop it. It's baffling.
I won't reproduce the Soundcloud links to the software-composed music, but it if you visit The Verge story you'll find them easily. Take a listen. Read the article. Why are the scientists so giddy? They are contributing to the creation of a force that is going to take more work from people. This will make the economically viable professional music industry contract even more severely and more quickly.
Can a union or organized labor stop this? No. I wonder if the tide is irreversible.
There are things in this world that should remain mysterious and magical. Not everything needs to be dissected. I think musical creation in particular is one of those magical things.