As the pulsating beats engulf the club and the lights create a mesmerizing display, there’s a concern lingering in the dance music industry: the rise of AI-generated mixes. With increasingly sophisticated mixing software and venues trimming budgets, some worry about the potential loss of the genuine connection between DJs and the crowd.
Nooriyah, a London-based DJ who performs to massive audiences worldwide, believes that AI programs have been available in the industry for years, suggesting song recommendations based on tempo. However, she remains confident that they won’t replace her job because the intimate connection she forges with her audience is challenging to replicate. The sight of her sweating and dancing alongside ravers creates a unique bond that AI cannot replicate.
Hannah Rose, a DJ who discovered her passion during the lockdown, has noticed a shift towards streaming sets, particularly for venues overseas facing financial constraints. Although she acknowledges the limitations of AI in matching human emotional intelligence, she expresses concern about the possibility of virtual sets becoming more prevalent. While AI-generated original compositions exist, she fears a potentially gloomy future for DJs.
While the role of DJs remains nuanced, producers face a different landscape. Nooriyah, who also creates her own music, emphasizes the need for a dialogue between the music industry and AI developers. She points out that several software programs can already mix music, potentially displacing producers. She proposes taxing AI companies and using the revenue to provide training for individuals who lose their jobs to AI.
Phil Kear, associated with the Music Union, shares these concerns, particularly about the potential impact on the value of recordings by human creators. He anticipates that AI-generated music may be perceived as cheaper and believes its influence will depend on the public’s acceptance and the quality of the music it produces. While he expects the commercial music landscape to remain relatively unchanged, he identifies “background” music as an area vulnerable to AI’s influence.
The music industry has already undergone significant transformations due to technological advancements. Nooriyah sees this development as part of the natural evolution of music. She urges the industry to recalibrate, establish regulations, and view AI as an exciting collaborator rather than an adversary.