It’s a scary thought that automation will eventually replace most of the human workforce. Robots don’t get tired and are more efficient. They could flip through thousands of medical research papers overnight and have the capability of surpassing doctors with patient diagnosis. They even have rice cookers with AI. Elon Musk may be right, universal basic income doesn’t seem too bizarre after all.

As I was getting my haircut, I started to think about all the jobs that artificial intelligence couldn’t take away. I told the staff at the barber shop that I will remain loyal because I would never trust a robot with a razor. My head is also abnormally oval so I need that human touch and intuition to make sure my head doesn’t look like a pineapple. I concluded most creative jobs can’t be replaced due to the very nature of the craft. So the aspiring Picasso and winners of The Voice should be safe from the robots.

This isn’t strictly AI but seven years ago there was a sold-out concert where the main performer was a hologram and her voice was generated from software with word banks. The movie Simone comes to mind. I think this illustrates the possibility for humans to appreciate the music created by AI, which isn’t a bad thing.

Some recent news, Google’s AI recently developed new instruments never heard by human ears:

“This is not like playing the two at the same time,” says one of Engel’s colleagues, Cinjon Resnick, from across the room. And that’s worth saying. The machine and its software aren’t layering the sounds of a clavichord atop those of a Hammond. They’re producing entirely new sounds using the mathematical characteristics of the notes that emerge from the two. And they can do this with about a thousand different instruments—from violins to balafons—creating countless new sounds from those we already have, thanks to artificial intelligence.

You could read more about the Magenta project here. Of course AI generated music is nothing new and some seem to be very open to the notion of embracing “artificial” art.

Unlike the application of AI to mundane and repetitive tasks, I don’t think human creatives will ever be replaced but instead be supplemented by the works in AI. There’s no scarcity in this realm as there are an infinite number of palates to please. I mean, there are actually people who don’t slip into coma while listening to Patricia Barber. 😉

That said, you might actually enjoy the voice of “Vicki” on your $100,000 HiFi system, generated from the beautiful voices of Eva Cassidy and Whitney Houston. It’d be interesting to see robo-artists with a million Twitter followers, shows on Stubhub, and high-res albums on Mark my words.